Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced in early April that it has plans to dramatically expand its cloud facilities, starting with the creation of a new large China data center.
Alibaba broke ground on a site in the Miaotan Industrial Park in Zhangbei County, approximately 255 kilometers northwest of Beijing, at the beginning of April. The new China data center is expected to host 80 percent of the online retailer's cloud and big data operations in northern China, as well as serve as the company's settlement center in the area.
The facility will cover roughly 165 acres in the industrial park and will cost nearly $3 billion. The first phase of construction, which will cover around 74 acres and have the capacity for 300,000 servers, is expected to be online in April 2016.
The company is focusing on data center sustainability during the construction of this new facility. Alibaba chose to build the China data center in Zhangbei County because of the area's favorable climate and abundant energy sources. The average annual temperature of the area is around 37 degrees Fahrenheit, offering the ability to utilize free-air cooling. The region also produces approximately 5 billion kWh of wind and solar energy each year while the town's total energy consumption is less than 400 million kWh. The county enjoys an extremely high rate of good air quality days, about 344 each year, which will help to extend the life of the facility's servers.
Currently, cloud services only make up about 1 percent of Alibaba's total income, but the company is investing heavily in the future of the technology. The announcement of the groundbreaking on the China data center comes only one month after news broke of a Silicon Valley data center being created by Alibaba for a similar purpose.
Brought to you by WiredRE, the nation's leading cloud, colocation, and data center advisory firm.