In addition to being the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world,
Alibaba Group has also been an innovator in data center design, seeking methods
to improve their energy efficiency. Hoping
to see these positive strides made around
the world, Alibaba will share its data center developments with the Open Compute
“We look forward to collaborating with
OCP and its members around the world
to drive the development and adoption
of further technological breakthroughs
intended to deliver an even greater impact
for the industry, and we already have plans
to contribute our innovations to OCP,” says
Shanyuan Gao, Chief Architect of Alibaba
OCP was initiated in 2011 by Facebook
with the goal of applying open source
hardware and boosting innovation for data
centers. Alibaba has joined as a Platinum
“We now have a hyperscale company
from Asia bringing best practices and
thought leadership from the massive
scale of their e-commerce marketplaces
and cloud computing infrastructure, while
Alibaba Group extends its involvement in
open standards already being adopted
throughout the world,” says Bill Carter, Chief
Technology Officer for the OCP Foundation.
Alibaba Cloud, the organization’s cloud
computing arm, develops cloud computing
and data management platforms and pro-
vides cloud computing services for Alibaba
Tech Company to Share Innovations
for Cooling Data Centers
ALIBABA GROUP AIMS TO CONTRIBUTE TO FUTURE BREAKTHROUGHS
Group’s e-commerce participants, including
sellers, customers and businesses.
“Today, there are more than 200 OCP
members, and we’ve created a shared vision
and venue to design for workloads of the
future. We are thrilled Alibaba Group is
bringing their expertise to OCP and contributing to this strong global community,”
says Jason Taylor, Open Compute Project
Chairman of the Board.
INNOVATIONS FOR COOLING
Alibaba’s focus has been on developing
green data center technology with the ultimate goal of reducing energy usage in data
centers and promoting the adoption of environmentally friendly data centers.
One such development makes use of an
immersed, liquid-cooling server solution
that would not require operators to use traditional air-cooling equipment. This coolant
absorbs heat from the data center, turns it
into gas, then liquefies it back into the main
cabinet for reuse. Data centers that use this
cooling process can cut back on energy
consumption significantly and reduce operation costs by up to 20%.
Moreover, this immersion cooling does
not require air conditioning or other
large HVAC equipment and can be easily
deployed. In addition to energy savings, it
can provide space savings of up to 75%.
The cooling process also improves computing density, as its Power Usage Efficiency
reaches as low as 1.0.
The company’s green practices for data
centers also include the first data center in
China that uses water-cooling technology.
Using the stable temperature of lake water,
it allows the data center to benefit from
free cooling for roughly 90% of its operating time. This data center has driven down
energy consumption by 80% compared to
those with mechanical cooling. When it was
built in 2015, it was one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world.
Alibaba’s technology is in the production phase and will initially be implemented
with Alibaba Cloud data centers before it is
In a rebranding effort to create a bet- ter market for zero energy buildings,
the International Living Future Institute
(ILFI) will replace the Net Zero Energy
program with the Zero Energy Building
The move from ILFI is a reaction to the
small fraction of all buildings that are in
its database for producing more renew-able energy than the total energy they
used over the course of the year.
“We want to get Zero Energy to be
the new normal,” says ILFI CEO Amanda
Sturgeon, who hopes ZE certifications
will soon number into the thousands.
In early 2017, ILFI and the New
Buildings Institute (NBI) formed a partnership to streamline the certification
of zero energy buildings, as well as the
development of a database. NBI has been
tracking net zero energy buildings since
2000 and under this new criteria will
administer a certification program that
not only awards buildings that replenish
all the energy they use but also those
that achieve a net positive result.
The reboot launches partially as a
result of improved solar, HVAC and lighting systems making zero energy attainable. At the end of 2016, NBI included in
its database 53 buildings that were net
positive and another 279 emerging buildings designed to achieve zero energy
status but haven’t yet performed at that
level for an entire year.
While 12 consecutive months of zero
energy performance are still required, the
Zero Energy Certification distances itself
from the former program in requirements.
The three Living Building Challenge
Imperatives – Limits to Growth, Beauty,
and Inspiration and Education – are no
longer mandated, and a site audit is no
Certification now runs $2,000 for a
commercial property after a $900 application fee.
New Program Provides
More Accessible Zero
HOW THIS CLASSIFICATION HOPES TO
MULTIPLY THE NUMBER OF NET POSITIVE
THE COOLING TECHNOLOGIES ALIBABA
GROUP has developed will be shared
through the Open Compute Project to
improve innovation for data center energy