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Thread: Photos: Inside a Microsoft data center

  1. #1
    nitinagarwal1988's Avatar
    nitinagarwal1988 is offline Microsoft MVP
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    Lightbulb Photos: Inside a Microsoft data center

    CHICAGO--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.

    "When I stepped out, I said 'what good data center weather'," he said. "I knew the chillers were off."

    Although Microsoft is open about many of the details of its data centers, there are others it likes to keep quiet, including the site's exact location, the names of its employees, and even which brand of servers fill its racks and containers.

    The software maker also won't say exactly which services are running in each facility, but the many Bing posters inside the upstairs server rooms in Chicago offer a pretty good indication of what is going on there.

    Microsoft originally intended to open the Chicago facility last year, but the company has slowed its data center pace some amid the weaker economy and an array of cutbacks companywide. Instead, the facility had its grand opening in late September.



    Of Sidekick--and Azure
    Within a month, though, Microsoft's data centers were attracting attention for a wholly different reason. A massive server failure at an older facility--one that Microsoft acquired as part of its Danger acquisition--left thousands of T-Mobile Sidekick owners without access to their data as part of an outage that is now stretching into its second month.

    Although Sidekick uses an entirely different architecture, the failure represented a tangible example of the biggest fear of cloud computing--that one will wake up one day to find their data gone.

    For more Photos Click Here.

  2. #2
    seti is offline Member
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    Thanks for the post and the warnig within. That is very frightening indeed

  3. #3
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
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    Thanks for the peek inside!

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    kirb is offline New Member
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    Wow! That's some incredible pictures. I would love to take a peek in one of those data centers sometime.

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    ceyfer is offline Beginner
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    wow! matrix feeling ~

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    nitinagarwal1988's Avatar
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    Well these are the center heart of whole computer world.......we all depends on these data centers.....

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    yesweb is offline New Member
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    Hello,

    Wow . Such a big data center.

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