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Microsoft Opens Chicago Data Center

     
6:01 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft Opens Chicago Data Center [news.cnet.com]

On most days it takes the right access badge and a biometric scan to make it inside the doors of Microsoft's massive data center. But on Wednesday, the company allowed a group of reporters, customers, and partners to tour the 700,000 square foot facility.

The data center, along with another just-opened facility in Dublin, Ireland and existing centers in San Antonio and Quincy, Wash., serve as the guts behind Microsoft's online ambitions, from Bing to Hotmail to Windows Azure.
3:53 am on Sept 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I like this part most:
But, for all its strategic import, the ground floor of the Chicago plant looks more like a truck parking lot than a traditional data center. In each parking spot, though, Microsoft can drop off a container packed with up to 2,000 servers [news.cnet.com].

It's a totally different approach than Google's. Instead of repairing on the server and component level, Microsoft just lets servers die inside the sealed containers until a threshold per container is reached. Then the full container is shipped back to the manufacturer for repair. I hope they will wipe the disks before shipping though.
 

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