Inspur Blog

Gotta go fast: how Inspur deployed 10,000 servers to Baidu’s data center in 8 hours

Recently, Inspur delivered the latest batch of whole cabinet servers to Baidu’s Shunyi Data Center – a shipment of more than 10,000 nodes. The entire on-site delivery process took only a record-setting 8 hours, equivalent to deploying one server every 2.88 seconds, which is 20 times more efficient than conventional server deployment.

Speed is name of the game in the Internet business

The Baidu Shunyi Data Center was built in 2018 to accommodate hundreds of thousands of servers that support the fastest growing emerging services such as Baidu Cloud and AI. Baidu Cloud, for instance, grew 3 times in the number of users and partners, 5 times in traffic, and 4 times in revenue in 2018. To keep up with surging business and user traffic, TIE1 Internet companies are vigorously upgrading their infrastructure’s expansion capabilities to be more agile and flexible, by adopting technologies like cloud computing, strengthening the data center supply chain, and improving the deployment efficiency of data center servers.

Whole-cabinet deployment ups delivery efficiency by 20 times

As Baidu’s primary computing solution provider, Inspur helped the company consistently achieve rapid server deployment. It is the result of continuous technology and business innovation, and years of deep partnership. The two parties began to jointly develop the entire rack in 2012 to replace the traditional rack server, scaling up the delivery unit increment from a single server to 10-40 node batches.

Simultaneously, Inspur upgraded its server delivery model to Baidu data center to L11 (rack level integration), increasing delivery efficiency about 20 times. Additionally, previously on-site processes like assembly, commissioning, and wiring of the cabinet server is moved to the engineering assembly line to further simplify on-site deployment.

Fast and agile supply chain speeds up orders

Inspur’s rapid delivery capability comes from the optimization of every step in the supply chain: technological innovation, production, transportation, and quality assurance. After years of transformation and reconstruction, Inspur became the first vendor in the industry to achieve large-scale customized server production, effectively shortening the order delivery cycle. The manufacturing facility uses agile and intelligent production lines, more than 600 RFID, 2000 sensors, 50 device controllers, 330 sets of intelligent devices, and 6 major information systems. Currently, most orders can be delivered within 7 days, large orders taking no more than 14; Baidu’s order delivery took 11.

While prioritizing speedy deployment, Inspur makes no compromises on quality, providing quality assurance to the “last mile”: a professional delivery engineer team, supporting automation tools and implementation process management ensure on-site full-process pipeline delivery. The delivery of a whole cabinet for Baidu took less than 2 minutes.

One model to serve them all: JDM and Internet companies

Internet companies, in their vast diversity, require not only efficiency but seamless, rapid integration of various technologies. To serve these enterprises, Inspur made product technology innovation and business chain agility the core of its business strategy. When working with CSPs, Inspur uses the joint design manufacturing (JDM) philosophy to form a unique, agile business model based on vendor, client and user needs. A deep collaboration is established between Inspur and the client throughout the product life cycle – demand, R&D, procurement, quality control, production, delivery, and service – to enable the most rapid turnaround.

The development cycle of a new product by Inspur is about 9 months, and the customer can deliver the prototype in 3 months at the earliest. By having a deep involvement in the client’s business, Inspur can better grasp the client’s needs and optimize supply chain management. In this case, Inspur and Baidu established a rolling forecasting mechanism in the supply chain to ensure balanced supply and demand operations management, significantly shortening the overall arrival cycle.

The CSP business continues to grow in size and variety, and along with it, its datacenters, deployments and demands. Inspur has figured out a potent methodology to meet this challenge, through continuous optimization of business processes and supply chains, innovation in technology, and close collaboration with the clients they serve.

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