Inside one of the world’s largest data centers

Microsoft is very serious about the online services business, very large obviously datacenters play a very important role.

The article also includes some nice pictures


CNET gets a tour of Microsoft’s 700,000-square-foot Chicago facility–a data center the company says just might be the biggest on the planet.

On the outside, Microsoft’s massive new data center resembles the other buildings in the industrial area.

Even the inside of the building doesn’t look like that much. The ground floor looks like a large indoor parking lot filled with a few parked trailers.

It’s what’s inside those trailers, though, that is the key to Microsoft’s cloud-computing efforts. Each of the shipping containers in the Chicago data center houses anywhere from 1,800 to 2,500 servers, each of which can be serving up e-mail, managing instant messages, or running applications for Microsoft’s soon-to-be-launched cloud-based operating system–Windows Azure.

Upstairs, Microsoft has four traditional raised floor server rooms, each roughly 12,000 square feet and consuming, on average, 3 megawatts of power. It’s all part of a data center that will eventually occupy 700,000 square feet, making it one of the world’s largest.

"I think, I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think this could be the largest data center in the world," said Arne Josefsberg, general manager of infrastructure services for Microsoft’s data center operations.

Even with only half the site ready for computers, the center has 30 megawatts of capacity–many times that found in a typical facility.

On a hot day, Microsoft would rely on 7.5 miles worth of chilled water piping to keep things cool, but general manager Kevin Timmons smiled as he walked in for the facility’s grand opening in late September. It was around 55 degrees outside. …

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Peter de Haas
Peter de Haas

Peter is gedreven door de eindeloze mogelijkheden die technologische vooruitgang biedt. Met een scherp oog voor het herkennen van oplossingen waar anderen slechts problemen zien, is hij een expert in digitale transformaties. Peter zet zich met volle overgave in om individuen, teams en organisaties te begeleiden bij het ontwikkelen van nieuwe vaardigheden en het implementeren van innovatieve oplossingen.

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