Huawei claims it’s halved the time needed to build a 1,000-rack datacenter • The Register

2022-06-15 11:31:56 By : Mr. Kevin Yang

Huawei has entered the datacenter construction business with an offering that it claims can be built in half the time required by competing methods, then run more efficiently.

The prosaically named “Next-Generation Datacenter Facility”, as depicted in a video posted to Chinese social media, employs suspiciously-shipping-container-sized modules stacked into a larger building.

In the video, a pre-school girl and her father use Lego to assemble a cube-shaped building. The scene cuts to film of a very similar building under construction in the real world, before the director makes sure the metaphor can’t be missed by morphing the Lego and actual buildings, as depicted below.

But Huawei’s banking on speed and low cost, not cinematic subtlety. The Chinese giant asserts that its approach to big barn building means a thousand-rack facility can be up and running within six to nine months, compared to 18 months for bespoke jobs.

The company’s also created a power supply it asserts is simpler than those offered by rivals, as it can be delivered in two weeks instead of two months.

“Simplified cooling maximizes heat exchange efficiency by changing multiple heat exchanges to one heat exchange, and shortening the cooling link,” Huawei’s enthused.

The Next-Generation Datacenter Facility also includes Huawei’s very own automation and AI-infused optimization tools, said to be capable of fine-tuning cooling to make it more efficient. Power is a major cost for datacenter operations, so if Huawei has done this well it will be appreciated.

The Chinese mega-corp has not said if the datacenters require the presence of Huawei products to realize the promised benefits.

China has introduced a plan to relocate five million datacenter racks from the crowded east of the country to ten designated datacenter precincts in nation’s western sparsely-populated west. That’s one obvious market where rapid datacenter builds will be in demand. If Huawei wins even 20 percent of that business, it’ll be building 1,000 of these datacenters!

Quick builds will also be appreciated elsewhere around the world. Whether Huawei’s design is welcomed by governments remains to be seen. The company’s well documented troubles have centered on its role as a network equipment provider representing a risk of network disposition information, or actual data, reaching Beijing. The contents of a datacenter also represent very useful information to a nation credibly accused of using state-backed groups to conduct offensive cyber-ops.

Huawei denies it would ever act against clients’ interests, or in ways that violate local laws, or would willingly be used an agent of China’s intelligence services.

Modular datacenters based on shipping containers are not new, and one facility that used such a design – OVH’s Strasbourg facility – infamously went up in flames.

Huawei’s stated that this design is resilient and environmentally responsible, in addition to offering rapid builds. ®

A Linux distro for smartphones abandoned by their manufacturers, postmarketOS, has introduced in-place upgrades.

Alpine Linux is a very minimal general-purpose distro that runs well on low-end kit, as The Reg FOSS desk found when we looked at version 3.16 last month. postmarketOS's – pmOS for short – version 22.06 is based on the same version.

This itself is distinctive. Most other third-party smartphone OSes, such as LineageOS or GrapheneOS, or the former CyanogenMod, are based on the core of Android itself.

Lenovo has officially opened its first manufacturing facility in Europe, to locally build servers, storage systems and high-end PC workstations for customers across Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Why build a cloud datacenter yourself, when you can rent one from Hewlett Packard Enterprise? It may seem unorthodox, but That’s exactly the approach Singapore-based private cloud provider Taeknizon is using to extend its private cloud offering to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Founded in 2012, Taeknizon offers a menagerie of services ranging from IoT, robotics, and AI to colocation and private cloud services, primarily in the Middle East and Asia. The company’s latest expansion in the UAE will see it lean on HPE GreenLake’s anything-as-a-service (XaaS) platform to meet growing demand from small-to-midsize enterprises for cloud services in the region.

“Today, 94% of companies operating in the UAE are SMEs," Ahmad AlKhallafi, UAE managing director at HPE, said in a statement. "Taeknizon’s as-a-service model caters to the requirements of SMEs and aligns with our vision to empower youth and the local startup community.”

Judges in the UK have dismissed the majority of an appeal made by Facebook parent Meta to overturn a watchdog's decision to order the social media giant to sell Giphy for antitrust reasons.

Facebook acquired GIF-sharing biz Giphy in May 2020. But Blighty's Competition Markets Authority (CMA) wasn't happy with the $400 million deal, arguing it gave Mark Zuckerberg's empire way too much control over the distribution of a lot of GIFs. After the CMA launched an official probe investigating the acquisition last June, it ordered Meta to sell Giphy to prevent Facebook from potentially monopolizing access to the animated images. 

Meta appealed the decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), arguing six grounds. All but one of them – known as Ground 4 – were dismissed by the tribunal's judges this week. And even then only one part of Ground 4 was upheld: the second element.

Here:s a novel cause for an internet outage: a beaver.

This story comes from Canada, where CTV News Vancouver yesterday reported that Canadian power company BC Hydro investigated the cause of a June 7 outage that "left many residents of north-western British Columbia without internet, landline and cellular service for more than eight hours."

That investigation found tooth marks at the base of a tree that fell across BC Hydro wires. Canadian mobile network operator shares the poles BC Hydro uses, so its optical fibre came down with the electrical wires.

The cross platform email client Thunderbird is to launch an Android version, which will be based on the existing K-9 app.

A month after Thunderbird's product manager, Ryan Lee Sipes, tweeted that a mobile version of the email client was "coming soon", the project has announced how it will do it.

It has acquired the FOSS Android email client and one-time Register app of the week K-9 Mail, which will become Thunderbird for Android.

Adobe-owned cloudy video workflow outfit has apologized and promised to do better after a series of lengthy outages to its service, which became part of Adobe's flagship Creative Cloud in 2021. bills itself as "The fastest, easiest, and most secure way to automatically get footage from cameras to collaborators – anywhere in the world" because its "Camera to Cloud" approach "eliminates the delay between production and post" by uploading audio and video "from the set to between each take." In theory, that means all the creatives involved in filmed projects don't have to wait before getting to work.

In theory. Customers say that's not the current experience. Downdetector's listing for the site records plenty of complaints about outages and tweets like the one below are not hard to find.

As Intel plans to start construction on a massive chip manufacturing site in Germany, chipmakers GlobalFoundries and STMicroelectronics are reportedly mulling a joint venture to build a fab in France.

The proposed fab in question – reported by Bloomberg – would help Europe fight future chip shortages and support the European Union's goal of producing 20 percent of the world's semiconductors by 2030.

New York-based GlobalFoundries and Geneva-based STMicroelectronics are hoping to get government subsidies for the French fab as part of the EU's proposed European Chips Act, the report suggested, citing sources familiar with the discussions. The potential focus for the France factory could be "energy efficient chips with advanced technology," it said, without offering specifics.

Lenovo has struck an agreement with Hong Kong comms conglomerate PCCW to create a jointly owned services company, advancing its strategy of growth through services.

PCCW operates a globe-spanning software-defined network, some of which uses its own submarine cables. The company also owns PCCW Solutions – an IT services provider with a big footprint in Hong Kong, mainland China, and parts of Southeast Asia.

Lenovo and PCCW Solutions will create an entity dubbed PCCW Lenovo Technology Solutions (PLTS) that will see the Chinese kit-maker and the Hong Kong services company offer "one-stop customer solutions that integrate services, devices and digital infrastructure" according to a joint Lenovo/PCCW announcement.

A Malaysia-linked hacktivist group has attacked targets in India, seemingly in reprisal for a representative of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) making remarks felt to be insulting to the prophet Muhammad.

The BJP has ties to the Hindu Nationalist movement that promotes the idea India should be an exclusively Hindu nation. During a late May debate about the status of a mosque in the Indian city of Varanasi – a holy city and pilgrimage site – BJP rep Nupur Sharma made inflammatory remarks about Islam that sparked controversy and violence in India.

Two of the more prolific cybercriminal groups, which in the past have deployed such high-profile ransomware families as Conti, Ryuk, REvil and Hive, have started adopting the BlackCat ransomware-as-as-service (RaaS) offering.

The use of the modern Rust programming language to stabilize and port the code, the variable nature of RaaS, and growing adoption by affiliate groups all increase the chances that organizations will run into BlackCat – and have difficulty detecting it – according to researchers with the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team.

In an advisory this week, Microsoft researchers noted the myriad capabilities of BlackCat, but added the outcome is always the same: the ransomware is deployed, files are stolen and encrypted, and victims told to either pay the ransom or risk seeing their sensitive data leaked.

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