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Servers spur a digital economic boom

How ZTE’s energy-efficient G5 series servers can keep telcos, MNOs and large enterprises on scalable, sustainable growth path

Sponsored Feature The rapid expansion of the global digital economy over the last decade has seen services such as mobile payments, e-commerce, mobile gaming and short video provision flourishing. And evolving technologies – including fifth generation (5G) mobile networks, cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) – are helping to transform a cross section of industry verticals.

Some predictions suggest that the subsequent demand for computing power globally will increase at a rate higher than 50 percent in the next three years, and the overall size will reach 3,300 EFLOPS (3.3 × 10^21 floating-point operations per second) by 2025.

"With the digital economy comes strong demand for computing power as new business models and industry segments – such as online shopping, mobile payment, smart city, and intelligent manufacturing – boom." comments Mr. Mei Zhonghua, Senior Vice President, President of Asia-Pacific and CIS at ZTE Corporation.

Telcos, mobile network operators (MNOs), cloud service providers (CSPs), large enterprises and public sector organizations have already played a key role in driving this demand, with most having migrated applications and services into cloud-hosted datacenters to satisfy the end-user need for fast, reliable and always-on access. And meeting that requirement means populating datacenters with powerful, energy-efficient servers which have the CPU, storage and networking muscle to host and process workloads as efficiently as possible.

The ICT industry in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is forecast to see particularly strong growth in server spending as a result. Mr Mei quotes predictions from research firm Gartner which suggest APAC server shipments will total 2.1 million units between 2023 through 2026 for example, delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) above the global average of 7.8 percent during that period.

That should leave server manufacturers with a ready market for their wares. ZTE for example recently launched its G5 series servers, aimed squarely at telcos, CSPs and other large companies that own and operate datacenters. The new systems include the 5200 G5 high-density server, R5300 G5 full-scenario universal server, R5500 G5 mass storage server, R6500 G5 heterogeneous computing power server, and R8500 G5 high-performance server.

Flexible expansion, scalable performance

These servers are powered by the latest 4 Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors which deliver up to 120 cores in 2 sockets. And the Xeon CPUs are further boosted by hardware-embedded accelerators designed to provide a further performance boost for 5G, AI, big data analytics, AR/VR and super computing workloads.

The servers support 32 DDR5 memory slots which deliver DRAM speeds of up to 4800MT/s. The PCIe5.0 expansion bus improves bandwidth by 150 percent compared to PCIe4.0, simultaneously providing the ability to use powerful hardware acceleration capabilities and emerging SSDs and GPUs to their full capacity.

Specifically, ZTE's R6500 G5 heterogeneous computing power server has a built-in intelligent acceleration engine that serves different application scenarios. It can flexibly optimize various combination of computing resources, such as CPU + GPU or CPU + GPU + DPU, to fulfill the demands of compute-intensive scenarios such as AI and super computing.

Key components of the servers, such as hard disks and I/O interfaces, are hot swappable. That means their capacity can be quickly expanded to cope with additional storage and application/service performance requirements when needed – critical for telcos, CSPs and other hosting companies that need to rapidly scale up their business to meet demand. For instance, the R5300 G5 accommodates forty one 2.5″ disk positions, or twenty 3.5″ disk positions and four 2.5″ disk positions, along with high-speed I/O interfaces.

Liquid cooling

Heat dissipation is important in protecting the high-performance server hardware from damage to maximize uptime and lowering datacenter total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing the electricity bill for cooling for hosting facility. The liquid cooling technology built into ZTE G5 series servers helps to improve energy consumption and system reliability, which are critical for telcos and CSPs hosting always-on applications and services for their customers.

Based on cooling plates and pipes designed with safety top of mind, the heat dissipation technology can help to reduce the PUE of a datacenter to 1.1. Heat sinks for the high-performance copper heat pipe reduce the thermal resistance by 15 percent and the measured temperature of CPUs by 5℃. This meets the heat dissipation requirements of Intel CPUs with the highest 350W Thermal Design Power or power consumption under maximum theoretical load.

Intelligent monitoring components raise an alarm within seconds if liquid leakage is detected - capabilities which bolster green and low-carbon initiatives for datacenter operators whilst simultaneously enhancing product reliability.

The resilience of the G5 series servers relies on much more than just heat dissipation. Power modules support 1+1 redundancy while the fans support N+1 redundancy to make sure the systems stay and up and running. ZTE products are also put through a 24-hour high temperature aging test before they are delivered to the customer, a process designed to assess electronic component stability and make sure that servers are stable from day one.

Round-the clock support

No organization participating in the digital economy can afford downtime, so ZTE has created technical support and after-sales services for the G5 series servers designed to help its customers keep their cloud applications and services up and running with minimal downtime and disruption.

"ZTE provides 24/7 technical support services via its established service networks and branches around the world," said Mr. Mei. "To this end, ZTE has established a management system for project delivery and after-sales services, involving an efficient project management and operation mechanism, a real-time intelligent digital system, and a high-performing team."

The company also works with its supply chain partners to ensure a balanced, efficient, stable, and sustainable supply of server hardware. Complementing that is ZTE's advanced after-sales service operation, which is able to call on more than 10,000 engineers able to provide "factory services" which tailor solutions and products specifically to the customer to meet diverse industry requirements.

Those capabilities are backed up by an organizational structure composed of the local spare parts centers and representative offices, global customer support centers, spare parts centers, product support centers, and R&D centers.

Growing deployments

ZTE currently provides servers, storage, and other products as well as cloud service solutions to telcos, MNOs and enterprises in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Japan. In Indonesia, for example, it supplied business Internet provider Telkomsigma with a cloud service solution that features high-performance and flexible-configuration servers backed by integration and skills transfer services which underpinned the development of the Telkomsigma's FLOU Cloud platform.

"In Southeast Asia, major telecommunications operators in Indonesia, have increased investment in cloud services and datacenters, launched IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and other cloud services in their domestic market, and planned the expansion of the datacenter business in the region," noted Mr. Mei. "Singapore, one of the datacenter hubs with the highest datacenter capacity in Southeast Asia, experiences a great boom in cloud services and datacenter services, which is attributable to the favorable natural, political, and economic environments, the sophisticated infrastructure, and the effective collaboration between local telecommunications operators and international cloud service providers."

In China, ZTE has become a mainstream supplier of servers and storage products to industries including telecommunications, finance, Internet, power, education, manufacturing, transportation, and cloud services. And in other APAC countries, the company is working closely with local telcos, MNOs, large Internet companies, and channel partners to offer consulting services ranging from infrastructure planning and cloud-based application deployment planning to digital enablement planning.

The company sees the latest G5 series servers as essential to its success in these markets. And the combination of high-density computing power, flexible server expansion options and the stability and reliability guarantees provided by ZTE's after sales service could prove instrumental in driving sustainable growth for the region's digital economy.

Sponsored by ZTE.

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