Data Centers

What would you do with 10,000 new servers every month?

Microsoft is investing a lot in new data centers. According to a report on News.com, they're buying upwards of 10,000 new servers every month. What does one do with that many boxes?

Over on TechRepublic sister site News.com, Ina Fried discusses how Microsoft is building new data centers at an incredible rate. They are literally bringing servers by the container-load and setting them up in shiny new - and massive - data centers. As Ina discusses in the article, and ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley pointed out back in May, Microsoft is installing new servers at a rate of 10,000 per month.

Installing 10,000 servers a month is an absolutely astounding rate.  In a typical month, that's 333 servers per day, 13 servers per hour, or one every 5 minutes.  Depending on how much I type, or how poor your reading skills are, Microsoft could install 2 servers before you're done reading this entry.

Microsoft is spreading these servers around in data centers all over the planet.  There are centers going in Washington, Texas, Illinois, and Ireland. That's on top of the centers it's already managing.

Why so many and all over the place? Several reasons. First, the centers are located in different places to reduce bandwidth usage and latency times. Locating a major data center in Ireland for example improves service to European customers.  Users there will experience much better performance than if all of the information was pulled across the Atlantic.

Beyond that however, Microsoft needs that much equipment to support all of the Live services it offers on the web. From the Live.com search engine, to Windows Live, Office Live, and xBox Live, Microsoft has to install servers at a blinding rate to keep the services reliable and responsive.  Just to support Live Search, Microsoft uses 80,000 servers.  It's no wonder they're building new centers so quickly.

What would you do?

What would you do with 10,000 new servers every month?  I have no idea where I'd begin. It just seems like too big of a number to get my head around.

Take the poll below and share your thoughts in the Comments section.

47 comments
matthew.chyla
matthew.chyla

Cluster Them All and download a portion of the internet, lol and mabee some larg scale rendering of a film or two to pay the power bill

tgilbreath
tgilbreath

Internet On Demand Video. Next Generation Application Services Grid Information Portals

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

I'd call the gas company and tell them I won't be needing their services this winter.

gypkap
gypkap

I presume MS wants to be Google, but I'd try to figure out what could be done with all the heat from those servers, 'cause Google already has search nailed, and the idea of "cloud computing" is just too flaky for most of use to want to use. I'd rather use MS Office or OpenOffice on my own computer, rather than that MS cloud based word processor (whatever it's called). I don't use the Google word processor either, though I do use GMail as a regular POP/SMTP mail service with a spam filter, and I use Picasa once in awhile.

peter.diks
peter.diks

I would enhance and improve my network

Doug Vitale
Doug Vitale

Microsoft isn't rolling out this many servers just for the hell of it. I recall Bill Gates saying in an interview that in the next version of Windows, users will be doing more computing "in the cloud", presumably with Web-based services. In other words, computing tasks will be more Internet-centric vs. desktop-centric. Obviously, he is banking on the ubiquity of Internet access in the near future. Perhaps Microsoft is buying all these servers to handle exponentially-increased storage and data processing requirements to meet this goal. You can already see a glimpse of this trend on Microsot's Live.com (email, calendar, photo sharing, file storage, etc.) and Microsoft Office Live, their answer to Google Docs. If thousands of new Windows 7 users start using these products and services every week/month in a couple of years, you can understand why it would make sense to have an army (a clone army?) of servers waiting to handle the load.

Photogenic Memory
Photogenic Memory

I'm just kidding people. However, eventually one of them going to get exploited. Eventually you'll get that call or email stating "a server with ip address X.X.X.X from your network is attempting to illegal access of our server at the Arch Diocese of the Salvation Army's Refurbished Socks Division. Please cease and desist." Anyways, that's when the headaches begin, LOL!

djl4fzw
djl4fzw

Create a cloud and charge people to access them. I'd become one of the major global inter-governmental information distribution systems.

francismichael
francismichael

Yeah, I have a few plans. I think I can retire many companies out of business within a couple of weeks!!

dervish
dervish

Use them as bricks and build a house for myself.

wdperry
wdperry

As justification analysis done years ago that showed a "mainframe server" environment (considering equipment, software, personnel, etc) provided a better solution, it's probably the same today. But the wonderful "Wonder World" is the "PC Server" environment. An Ole Computer Dinosaur

alexmcduffmiller
alexmcduffmiller

I would form a relationship with Google for about 2 minutes. Or sell them and start up an ISP. I'm from Minnesota and Qwest is too slow, Comcast (big ISP like Cox) is starting to monitor everything and turn into communism.

LarryD4
LarryD4

I would load 10,000 UT 2003 game servers and have a contest to see who could win one Deathmatch game on every server.

yozeur
yozeur

Create a new professional windows, based on virtual services...

BBPellet
BBPellet

Lets see...ebay.....$1 per listing....so cost of $10,000. if each sells for at least $1000 minus 100 for shipping the bugger....that $900 per unit. Multiply that by number of units 10,000 x $900...that $9,000,000 per month on income if all sold each month....now minus expenses of listng...($10,000 from above...is $8,990,000...now minus uncle sam's share of at least 25%....that is about $6,742,500 per MONTH of income....I THINK I CAN LIVE ON THAT! :)

bboyd
bboyd

If you believe CNN's quote that leaving one on is the same carbon cost as running your car. /smirk Here in our age of green washing I would paint this black. Data centers are one of the fastest growing consumers of electrical power. Not to mention computer gear and electronics have some of the highest power to weight manufacturing costs. Its a power consumption cold war between Google and MS!

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

is not all it cracked up to be? If it was then MS surely would not need to buy upwards of 10,000 new servers every month!

santeewelding
santeewelding

Don't nobody here want to go beyond the (commercial) specifics.

mwalker
mwalker

Can some one figure out for me how much energy it will take to run 10K servers? I am too busy trying to keep my one Windows server running Veritas working.

andrewfrzt
andrewfrzt

Build a great wall of servers so that it can be seen from space

jck
jck

Ebay auction :^0

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

and I have no idea why, I would donate a few to TR to make things better, and then do what most others suggested -- Craigslist and Ebay :D Edited to add -- Some would have to go to BALTHOR for the invasion to work properly! :D

Alessandro Dellavedova
Alessandro Dellavedova

Can you imagine to run Distributed John The Ripper on 10,000 servers each month ? Or using that tremendous computing power to generate rainbow tables ? Scaring.

RipVan
RipVan

...and I guess it is a real resource hog.

drl.techrepub
drl.techrepub

... ask it what the answer to life the universe and everything is. Failing that I'd be worried about my having lost my marbles.

sjamieson
sjamieson

I wonder if they have to pay themselves for licenses

wchaster
wchaster

We are entering the era of SAAS and MicroSoft is one of the largest producers of applications. If I was in charge of a product divition, specifically one that was consumer facing, I would want to deliver them ALL of my application, any time, anywhere and always up to date; for pennies per use.

EvilHomerGD
EvilHomerGD

I'd install Linux and have on heck of a folding@Home server farm...

gvilain
gvilain

Did you notice MS is acquiring DatAllegro? Maybe they're going to be hosting data warehouse and business intelligence services.

The DOBC
The DOBC

Make their own bot network. They buy everything else!

oeflynn
oeflynn

If I got 10,000 new servers every month, I make sure I could do basic arithmetic! If 10,000 servers a month equates to setting up (approximately) 13 servers an hour, that is one server every 4.6 minutes - not one every 15 minutes! But the numbers are staggering, I do agree!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Or there's E-Bay, either way I'd be selling them out the back door as fast as the delivery truck unloaded them.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

bound to come to something, sooner or later.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

Balthor is just a bunch of PC's randomly spitting out words with seemingly connected ideas but usually not. I mean really, I'm not sure he is even human.

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

Indeed... you're right. That was supposed to read every *5* minutes (rounding of your 4.6) not 15 minutes. Bad typo... bad writer... Good catch! So fixed. Thanks!

StealthWiFi
StealthWiFi

If your the one buying them why take the hit in reselling them "Out the back door" and any one with a little common sense would notice 10k servers missing...

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

however, I think he is just on a different plane of existance than us :0 :^0

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