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.

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