Feeds

Microsoft consumes Chicago data center

If the container fits

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Data center operator Ascent, while not exactly a household name, did stir up a little PR when it brought in a high profile customer named Microsoft to its facility located in the Chicago suburb of Northlake. And now, Microsoft is apparently getting set to buy the data center, nicknamed CH1, from Ascent, giving the data center operator a chance to build a new facility called CH2 that will piggyback on the power and connectivity capabilities that Microsoft is using.

Back in November 2007, Microsoft said it was shelling out $500m to build the Northlake facility, a companion to a similar server and storage mega center that Microsoft said it was building outside of Dublin. Back in October 2008, the economic meltdown forced Microsoft to cut back on spending, including data center rollouts.

The CH1 facility is interesting for another reason besides Microsoft ending up being its sole client. (That was not the plan that Ascent had in mind, by the way). The CH1 facility is where Microsoft is building its first containerized data center, a design that crams servers, storage, and other IT gear into shipping containers to pack that gear in tightly and cheaply. The Northlake data center was supposed to have from 150 to 220 of the standard 40 foot containers jam packed with gear, perhaps several hundred thousand servers in total. It is not clear if Microsoft has, in fact, deployed containers in the CH1 facility.

Microsoft's confidence in the market and its need to deploy servers and storage to support its Web 2.0 intentions seem to have compelled the company to shell out some more dough. According to a report in Crain's Chicago Business, Microsoft has worked out a deal with Ascent to buy the 707,244 square foot CH1 facility for "more than $185m." Microsoft had a purchase option when it inked the CH1 deal with Ascent, which turned an old Kraft Foods into a data center, complete with secure suites for customers that give them their own entrances, security, shipping docks, lobbies, and personnel.

The CH2 data center that will be down the road from CH1 weighs in at a mere 250,000 square feet and will employ the same "data center suites" concept that, in the end, proved to be totally unnecessary at the CH1 facility since Microsoft wanted all of the capacity at the site once it took a look around at its options in Chicago. Ascent says it hopes to have the CH2 facility finished by the end of 2009 and will offer customers basic powered shell and core space where they can add their own facilities and IT gear as well.

As fully constructed, turnkey data centers and offices. The facility will offer raised and slab floor options as well as chilled water and outside air cooling. Customers will be able to go with containerized data centers if that floats their boat or standard compute racks. And it will have its own dedicated electricity substation with two links to the power grid for redundancy. The entry data center sold by Ascent in the facility is expected to be around 10,000 square feet and will scale up to 250,000 square feet or more, according to the company.

Maybe Google will take CH2, just to annoy Microsoft. The company can afford that kind of cut-throat IT humor, after all, and it is always best to distribute your data centers globally. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure
Updated Virtual Machine Converter now converts Linux VMs too
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.