After a three-year construction phase, the new Audi Computing Center is now online. It hosts all main IT applications for the around 51,000 computer users at Audi. Audi connect services, which Audi drivers can use to call up current traffic information and access social networks on the Internet, also run on the Audi IT servers. In addition, the TÜV Rheinland inspection authority has just given special recognition to the computing center for its energy efficiency.
“Our computing center sets standards in the green IT field,” says Mattias Ulbrich, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of AUDI AG: “We are making an important contribution towards implementing our sustainability strategy here.” Thanks to innovative technology, the carmaker will now reduce CO2 emissions by 9,000 metric tons (9,920 US tons) annually, thereby bringing the conservation of resources and economic efficiency into harmony.
TÜV Rheinland has issued its premium certificate - its highest level of recognition for energy efficiency - to the Audi Computing Center. Audi implemented advanced technology in the new facility and attained top ratings in all evaluated categories. Above all, the computing center scored highly with its comprehensive green IT approach, in which the energy efficiency of Audi IT was improved by one-third.
With the help of “indirect outdoor cooling,” for example, the servers are cooled exclusively with outside air when the outdoor temperature is 11 °C (51.80 °F) or less. This lets the company avoid the use of energy-intensive refrigeration compressors, especially at night and during the winter months. New systems in the facility also exhibit high efficiency, for instance thanks to low-loss transformers.
The computing center meets very high standards for availability – it is “always on”. It even features a second electrical system for redundancy. A flywheel energy storage system is used to back up power in case of a power failure. This type of system has a significantly longer life than conventional lead-acid batteries.
The new computing center processes data for all computer users at Audi and serves all business units. It also serves Audi drivers who access connect services in their cars such as online traffic information; this information is processed in the computing center. Security has a very high priority in the new IT center. Restricted access, a preventive fire protection system and a comprehensive monitoring strategy are just a few examples of the measures used.
With a total of 650 racks for up to 6,000 servers and IT components, the new facility in Ingolstadt has sufficient capacities for the future. The heart of Audi IT is now larger than ever so that it will be able to handle the demands of the company’s sustained growth curve.