Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Building the cloud: location, location, location

What is clear is that, over time, Microsoft will need even more capacity. That's what has Josefsberg returning to a custom "heat map" that figures out the best place to build data centers based on factors including cheapness, greenness, and availability of power, political climate, weather, networking capacity, and other factors. Choosing the right spot is critical, Microsoft executives say, noting that 70 percent of a data center's economics are determined before a company ever breaks ground.

Energy seems to be a major constraint for cloud development:

Even with only half the site ready for computers, the center has 30 megawatts of capacity--many times that found in a typical facility.

On a hot day, Microsoft would rely on 7.5 miles worth of chilled water piping to keep things cool, but general manager Kevin Timmons smiled as he walked in for the facility's grand opening in late September. It was around 55 degrees outside.

tags:energy, infrastructure, tool, cloud, computers, scale, 10x, greatest

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