China to Build World’s Highest-Altitude Data Center in Lhasa, Tibet
Tibet may evolve into a big data industrial base in the coming years and this starts with the new Data Center
China recently had announced plans to set up World’s Highest-altitude Data Center in China-occupied Tibet. This data center will meet, data storage requirements of China itself along with Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as parts of Southeast Asia. This data center’s location within the high-tech zone of the Tibetan regional capital city of Lhasa is situated at an altitude of around 3,656 meters, making it the highest-altitude data center in the world. According to its Lhasa-based operator, the Ningsuan Technology Group, the project will provide services in areas such as video rendering, autonomous driving, distance-learning data backup, among others. It is reported that around a total amount of 11.8 billion yuan (over USD 1.80 billion) has been planned for investing in this project.
As reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the first phase of the project is expected to be put into operation in 2021. Following the completion of its first phase, the Tibet data center will have 10,000 machine cabinets and be able to secure an annual revenue of 1.5 billion yuan (about US$223.5 million), meeting the data storage needs of key clients in major Chinese provinces and cities and other Asian nations. Hu Xiao, general manager of Ningsuan Technologies, the operator of the center, anticipates that the whole project would be completed by the end of 2026 on the condition that things go smoothly. He also mentioned that Tibet’s low average temperatures, clean air and abundant renewable energy for power generation are perfect for operating a big data center.
The entire project covers an area of 645,000 square meters (7 million square feet) and, when fully built out; it will include several buildings covering a total of 400,000 square meters (4.3 million square feet). The project is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which involves tighter connections both maritime and terrestrial with almost 70 nations from across Southeast Asia to Europe. BRI is a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government which was first announced by General Secretary Xi Jinping during his visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan in 2013.
A data center is a physical facility that enterprises use to house their business-critical applications and information. Whereas, in a cloud computing data center, the entire infrastructure hosted there is committed running the multi-tenant environments that are dynamically allocated to cloud customers based on cost and demand. Power usage effectiveness (PUE), a key ratio that describes how efficiently a computer data center uses energy, is much better in Tibet than in other places thanks to the cool air. This means no air conditioning will be required for computing cabinets. Thus eliminating the extra energy consumption and making this data center greener.