Microsoft’s Daniel Costello, Engineering Approach to Solve Data Center Design

Microsoft’s Daniel Costello has a good post on an engineering approach to solve data center business problems.

Before I get into what Daniel wrote, let’s contrast what typically happens in a data center project.

1) Collect the stakeholder requirements for the data center.

2) Forecast capacity requirements to determine how big the data center needs to be to meet the requirements.

3) Sell the project internally. Data centers are mission critical and meeting the requirements is #1 priority.

4) Bid out the project to industry experts.

Now let’s look at  Daniel’s steps.

1) Time to Market

2) Cost

3) Efficiency

4) Flexibility and Density

And the goals of the Microsoft team.

The Goals our Engineering Team Set

· Reduce time-to-market and deliver the facility at the same time as the computing infrastructure

· Reduce capital cost per megawatt and reduce COGS per kilowatt per month by class

· Increase ROIC and minimize the up-front investment for data centers

· Differentiate reliability and redundancy by data center class and design the system to be flexible to accommodate any class of service in the same facility

· Drive data center efficiency up while lowering PUE, water usage, and overall TCOE

· Develop a solution to accept multiple levels of density and form factors, such as racks, skids, or containers

Why take this approach?

Perhaps most importantly, with Generation 4 we can quickly add capacity incrementally in response to demand. Gone are the days when we had to wait 12-18 months for a large data center to be built, only to use a small portion of its capacity while we waited for demand to catch up to capacity. In short, our Generation 4 design delivers a revolution in terms of time to market that the data center industry has never seen before.