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WPC: With 1 Million Servers, Microsoft Claims Second-Biggest Datacenter

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Steve Ballmer paused in Microsoft's flurry of datacenter construction to assess Microsoft's position in the race among the megavendors investing in scaled public cloud infrastructure.

Speaking at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Monday in Houston, Ballmer provided some rare context on the size of Microsoft's server farms and how big he thinks the company's main competitors have gotten.

"We have something over a million servers in our datacenter infrastructure," said Ballmer, noting that the build-out started in support of the Bing and Office 365 services, which provided institutional knowledge that is being built into Azure server farms.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at Monday's WPC keynote. (Source: Microsoft)

Ballmer only lays claim to second place from those billions of dollars in capital expenditures that funded datacenters all over the world. "Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller," he said.

The rest of the field is pretty limited -- at least at the Google-Microsoft-Amazon order of magnitude, Ballmer suggested. "You get Yahoo and Facebook, and then everybody else is 100,000 units probably or less," he said.

Like any good businessman, Ballmer then rephrased the issue to make the case that Microsoft is still No. 1 even if it's No. 2.

"The number of companies that are at the same time seriously investing in the private cloud, which is not going away, and in these hybrid clouds is really just one and that's us," he said.

More News and Analysis from WPC 2013:

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 09, 2013 at 11:58 AM


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