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Microsoft Readies New Cloud Data Center

Microsoft is getting ready to launch the newest datacenter for its cloud services. The new facility, in Quincy, Wash., will go live early this year, Microsoft announced this week.

It incorporates much of the principals of its Chicago and Dublin datacenters, notes Kevin Timmons, Microsoft's general manager of datacenter services.

Timmons points out that there are some nuances. The Dublin facility uses server PODs, which rely on outside air to reduce cooling costs. The Chicago datacenter, by comparison uses Microsoft's IT Pre-Assembled Components (ITPACs.). Quincy will use the ITPACs.

"An ITPAC is a pre-manufactured, fully-assembled module that can be built with a focus on sustainable materials such as steel and aluminum and can house as little as 400 servers and as many as 2,000 servers, significantly increasing flexibility and scalability," Timmons notes in a blog post.

"The expansion in Quincy takes these ideas a step further," he adds, "by extending the flexibility of PACs across the entire facility using modular 'building blocks' for electrical, mechanical, server and security subsystems.  This increase in flexibility enables us to even better support the needs of what can often be a very unpredictable online business and allows us to build datacenters incrementally as capacity grows.  Our modular design enables us to build a facility in significantly less time while reducing capital costs by an average of 50 to 60 percent over the lifetime of the project."

The new datacenter will be adjacent to Microsoft's existing 500,000 square foot facility, except this one will be in a structure that resembles tractor sheds, allowing Microsoft to pull in outside cool air, while providing protection from other elements.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on January 06, 2011


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