Feeds

Microsoft taps Dell to build Azure cloud

Round Rock containerized?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.