The organization works with more than 200 data centers
Microsoft Data Center – Data centers are very much like the structures at home with electrical and mechanical gear. In truth, the Microsoft cloud is at an unprecedented scale and operates at a more severe level of dependency than any home.
Currently, the organization works with more than 200 data centers, and this number continues to grow. So far, the organizations operating and arranging data center impressions locate in 34 countries across the planet.
All are networked together using more than 165,000 miles of subsector, earthbound, and metro optical fiber. Microsoft is about to add data centers in ten different countries this year. The organization is set to work in the range of 50 and 100 new data centers every year for a long time to come.
Physical and cyber security
Most Microsoft data centers are warehouse-sized. Windowless amalgams of concrete, steel, copper, and fiber surrounded by a fence. If you used to drive by a data center, you probably wouldn’t know it was a data center.
The high-security perimeter fence is one of several layers of physical security. It is to control access in and out of the data center.
There are also security cameras and a guardhouse. At the entrance, additional physical security measures include a check-in station where visitors show their credentials. A one-way door that prevents unauthorized people from taking anything in or out of the data center.
From the outside, visitors will also see an array of electrical equipment needed to power the data center. This includes at least two power lines fed from the electric power grid for redundancy in case one line goes down.
Onsite backup generator to power the servers in case of power grid outage or any other kind of disruption.
Today, most of Microsoft’s backup generators are diesel-powered. Longer term the company plans to transition to low carbon fuels, batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.
Microsoft is committed to giving strength to all its data centers and operations with equivalent to 100% renewable sources of energy by 2025.
Virtual data center wind turbines and solar panels show that the company is buying to reach that goal as an example of renewable energy types.
Although wind turbines and solar panels are rarely seen at the top of the company’s data centers.
One thing that raises questions all the time is why not put solar panels at data centers? The real problem trying to solve is to speed up decarbonization of the electric grid, and, adding solar panels to the data centers will be just one drop in the bucket.
Instead of rooftop solar panels. Microsoft makes financial agreements with power companies to build wind and solar farms on thousands of acres of land.
Whenever possible, the company also chooses to build data centers near hydroelectric dams. It will provide a steady stream of green and reliable baseload power for the data centers.
Cool, protected, and reliable
All those servers inside the data center generate heat by turning energy into data while they work. This required an engineered cooling system to prevent the servers from overheating.
Microsoft data centers in temperate climates such as the US Pacific Northwest and northern Europe use outside air for cooling except on the hottest days. The same is true for hotter and more humid regions of the world.
15% of days when temperature and humidity are high. Microsoft’s mechanical coolers use water to cool the air through the process of evaporation.
As a company, Microsoft is moving towards waterless cooling technologies like liquid cooling. They aim to offset more water than is consumed by the end of this decade.
Inside a data center, rows of server racks are typically placed in a hot aisle and cold aisle configuration. As the servers operate. The fans suck air from the cold aisles and blow it over the servers.
The hot air exits behind the servers and into the hot aisle. It is sucked in and out of the data center, where it is cycled through mechanical coolers.
All of Microsoft’s electrical and mechanical infrastructure houses the company’s more than 4 million servers in data centers around the world. Reliability is known as the “five of nines” or 99.999% of the time.
Microsoft Data Center innovation
Microsoft’s research and engineering teams are eyeing the data center of the future. Keeping up with the demand for faster, more powerful data center servers to meet sustainability goals on carbon and water.
The pace of change in the next five years is likely to eclipse the pace of change in the last 20 years. More efficient, higher-bandwidth networks will enable large-scale AI applications’ ability to move massive amounts of data.
These fast and efficient data centers will be enabled by innovations such as liquid cooling. Undersea data center concepts are in the final phase of the virtual data center experience.
These densely packed servers may also give rise to a new breed of data centers deployed for edge applications. The hyper-scale Microsoft data centers the company is building today and for the foreseeable future will continue to be a major part of the mix.