Feeds

Microsoft taps Dell to build Azure cloud

Round Rock containerized?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Dell eying containerized data centers?

As for the specific designs of the servers, all Dell will say is that the servers it creates for DCS customers have right-sized power supplies and fans, so energy is not wasted; low-flow fan algorithms that increase fan efficiency and return air temperature to computer room air-conditioning units; increased memory density that helps reduce excess heat and overall power consumption in the server; and custom-designed chasses that help optimize density and airflow.

The machines are undoubtedly based on x64 processors, although it would be hilarious if Windows Azure was running on Itanium iron (which is technically possible but logically stupid, especially since Dell doesn't really like Itanium and Microsoft only does because it helps kill RISC/Unix a little).

Here's a link to a cloud server design Dell has done, called the XS23, that the company is willing to talk about. It has four two-socket servers and a dozen 3.5-inch drives in a 2U space. Here's another link, one to the companion J23 JBOD disk array, which crams 23 disks into a 2U space. (That's a dozen drives in the front, eleven in the back, and the power supplies in the middle; the power cord eats the space of one of the drives in the back).

"The scale at which Microsoft is building out their cloud and the infrastructure to support Windows Azure absolutely warranted really optimized solutions," explained Norrod. "We think they chose us because we gave them the solution that was power-optimized, performance-optimized, easy to deploy and scale to fulfill their needs and support it around the world."

A report in Data Center Knowledge claims that Microsoft has tested Azure on iron from Verari Systems and Rackable Systems, niche blade and rack server makers who have maximized energy efficiency and density in their respective designs. This report says that while the initial Azure iron is sitting in the data center in Quincy, the Azure cloud will eventually be run in a containerized data center that Microsoft is planning for the outskirts of Chicago.

Verari sells its own containerized data centers, called Forrest, as do Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems. Microsoft is already a Verari customer (and one of its largest customers at that), so a Dell hardware win is a pretty big deal. Dell has been reportedly working on its own containerized data center as well, and this may have been a key factor in its selection by Microsoft for the Azure iron.

The word on the street back in April was that Microsoft was buying 220 containers worth of gear to power its cloud computing effort for the Chicago data center. No word yet on whether this is still the plan. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.