Part 2 – Architect’s Perspective, Microsoft Generation 4 Data Center

David Gauthier and Christian Belady have a new blog post about their architect’s perspective.

Microsoft's Generation 4 Data Center Vision - the Architects' Perspective

Microsoft's Generation 4 Data Center Vision - the Architects' Perspective

By David Gauthier, Data Center Infrastructure Architect and Christian Belady, Principal Power and Cooling Architect, Microsoft Corp.

On Tuesday, December 2, our Global Foundation Services team went public with our Generation 4 Modular Data Center Vision and over the past week a lot of great discussions and questions have been posed from our industry colleagues. Today, we wanted to address some of those questions and share more insight on our Gen 4 plan via a video interview we did with Adam Bomb, a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft's TechNet Edge. 

Some people got the impression that this announcement was solely about a containerized server room rather than a re-thinking of the entire infrastructure. The goal of Gen 4 is to modularize not only the server and storage components, which a number of companies are already doing, but also to modularize the infrastructure, namely the electrical and mechanical systems.  The real innovation is around the commonality, manufacturing, supply chain and integration of these modules to provide a plug-and-play infrastructure along with modularized server environments.  In addition, it is focused on scaling the infrastructure with the business demands, smoothing capital investment, and driving costs down as shown by the following chart.

What are they after?

While we expect these modular innovations to reduce capital investments by 20%-40% or more depending on class, we also expect considerable reductions in operating expenses related to electricity and water consumption. Designing from the start for environmental sustainability has allowed us to focus on using less construction material up front, less energy and water during operation, and also allows us to recycle and reuse components at the end of their useful life. No longer will we be governed by the initial decisions made when constructing the facility. We will have almost unlimited use and re-use of the facility and site. We will also be able to use power in an ultra-fluid fashion moving load from critical to non-critical as use and capacity requirements dictate.

Sounds like they are reinventing what it means to have a Green Data Center.

They have a new video as well.