Information Week tours Microsoft’s San Antonio Data Center under construction

Information Week was given a tour of Microsoft’s San Antonio data center under construction.

Seeding The Cloud

Posted by J. Nicholas Hoover, Jun 20, 2008 02:39 PM

Recently, I got the chance to visit one of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s mega data centers for a tour while it was under construction. I'll just say this: creating the infrastructure needed for cloud computing isn't child's play.

Microsoft rolls out data centers as if they were aircraft carriers in the United States Navy. There's the Quincy-class, there's the Dublin-class, and there's the Chicago-class. I myself was at the Quincy-class San Antonio location, a monstrous ship of the online if there ever was one at 475,000 square feet.

And that's only one of the numerous (Microsoft won't give a number) $500-million-or-so data centers the company's got under construction or up and running around the world. With all that going on, Microsoft's got to have a plan in place to figure out when and where to build.

The company uses what Microsoft data center services general manager Mike Manos calls a "continuum strategy." It starts with Microsoft mapping out the world to identify the company's important data center markets. From the maps, Microsoft (duh) determines where new data centers are needed.

There isn’t anything new in this article that hasn’t been reported on previously. But, Microsoft gained more eyes and the writer speculates on the software + services strategy.

P.S. For all of those who read this and say, OK, but what is Microsoft going to use this ridiculous amount of server energy for, check here for more, starting on Saturday. Remember that top Microsoft execs have said that almost every Microsoft product will have a services component or a version delivered as a service going forward, and that Microsoft execs also have hinted at the possibility of utility computing services a la Amazon Web Services. That's a lot of Windows Servers, SQL Servers, and so on. You can be sure that come the end of October, you'll know a lot more.