Microsoft Enters Cloud Computing with 2 New Data Centers
Microsoft has announced the opening of 2 new data centers, one in Dublin, Ireland, and another in Chicago, US. These data centers are a preparation for the announcement Microsoft is going to make at PDC 2009 regarding the commercial availability of Windows Azure services.
The data center in Dublin is targeted at clients from Europe, Middle East and Africa, and it started operating in July this year. The facility covers an area of 303,000 square feet (28,150 m2) and uses an energy supply of 22.2 MW. The construction costs raised at 500 million USD. Being located in a cooler climate, the Dublin facility uses less power than usual being cooled with air coming directly from outside at 95 F (35 C) without having to chill it. This results in a 50% Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) improvement.
The Chicago data center is twice as big, covering 700,000 square feet (65 032.128 m2) and is currently using 30 MW with preparations made for other 30 MW when the capacity is increased. The final cost is estimated to top 500 M USD. The center’s servers are setup in containers, between 1,800 and 2,500 per container. The containers are considered a good choice being more power efficient, and require less packaging materials for servers and a lot less cables. The containers use a standardized interface (CBlox) to connect to each other and can be placed on top of another. The Chicago center uses water for cooling, thus saving energy.
Microsoft has created these two additional data centers preparing itself to deliver cloud computing services in the near future:
Microsoft’s data centers represent the infrastructure foundation of the company’s cloud services offerings and demonstrate how Microsoft is positioning itself to compete and succeed with an approach we call Software plus Services.
Microsoft is expected to announce Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services during PDC on November 17, 2009. The pricing details are already hammered out. It seems that the two data centers, Dublin and Chicago, come just in time for that.