Feeds

Microsoft picks up data centre from the back of a lorry

Hopes to restart enterprise juggernaut

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Windows Live may be hosted from Portakabin-style data centre compounds if Microsoft's 4th generation data centre plans come to fruition.

Microsoft planners envisage thinly-provisioned data centres built from containerised components delivered to site just in time and plugged into a utility spine for power and communications links with standard interfaces.

This fourth generation follows on from generation one - today's data centres which are focussed on uptime, reliability and redundancy. Second-generation ones add in ideas like sustainability, energy efficiency, and the total cost of energy and operations - think hot aisle/cold aisle cooling, among other things. Microsoft suggests its Quincy, Washington data centre (clean hydro-electric power) and San Antonio, Texas facility (cooling with recycled waste water) as examples. The third generation builds data centres taking into account modularity and an even stronger focus on energy efficiency and scale. Microsoft reckons its in-construction Chicago, Illinois data centre with a container hangar and no raised floor will exemplify this generation.

The fourth generation concept is to have all the main data centre elements pre-manufactured and assembled into containers that are shipped or trucked to data centres anywhere in the world. The data centre is a walled and secured compound, not a building, which admittedly leaves it vulnerable to nasty things thrown over the wall. As the demands on its resources grow new modules comprising servers, storage, networking gear or power supplies can be ordered, assembled by suppliers, and shipped to the site for deployment on a just-in-time or thin provisioning basis. They could also be shipped out again when not needed.

It could be like a giant outdoor trailer park. Architecturally it would be as attractive as a a sprawling electricity distribution compound.

Costs should come down 20-40 per cent. Datacentres could be built with varying degrees of redundancy and resiliency as the overall application suite requires. Cooling costs could be reduced by using ambient air instead of chilled air. The use of water for cooling could, the Microsoft engineers hope, be partially or wholly designed out. Site construction costs would be a lot less with significant reductions in time, labour and material costs since no on-site building construction would be needed beyond setting up the ground-level platform or apron, and the power distribution spine.

Suppliers could compete to build the modules with standard interface specifications lowering their costs.

This Microsoft concept is meant primarily, we understand, for data centres facing hyper-growth or needing to be grouped into a worldwide network providing cloud computing resources with edge, anchor and mega-sites. But, if costs became low enough then Microsoft envisages its use spreading.

Find out more information and see a fetching animation video by clicking here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
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.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.