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December 25, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Sky's the limit for city-backed cloud computing invention

A NEW container-sized cloud computing center, much more efficient than existing units, has been invented in Shanghai, a local government-backed company said yesterday.

Cloud computing, widely used by top technology companies such as Google and Apple, is Internet-based computing in which shared servers provide resources, software and information to computers and other devices.

Shanghai is one of China's five cities chosen to develop the cloud computing industry as a national policy.

"It's a made-in-Shanghai cloud computing center in a container," said Wu Siquan, vice president of @Hub, a IT service firm funded by the Shanghai government.

At present, most cloud computing centers are cumbersome with heavy power demands.

However, @Hub has invented two kinds of cloud computing centers: One with 5,000 central processing units is 6 meters in length; The other has 12,000 CPUs and is 12 meters long. Each can be operated in a modified container.

The new center can reduce power consumption by 40 percent, compared to existing units. The adaptation period for the container-based cloud computing center is about two weeks, compared with two years in a traditional model.

The Zhabei District Health Bureau has become one of the first clients for the new cloud computing center, according to @Hub.

The city previously announced it would invest 200 million yuan (US$30 million) within five years on cloud computing, including opening a new industrial base and establishing an industry alliance.

Output of the local cloud computing sector will hit US$15 billion by the end of 2015, local government said.

The technology will be rolled out for smart grid and urban transportation systems in China, said Li Deyi, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.


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