Microsoft Reveals Fourth-Gen Datacenter Design

image-thumbMicrosoft Data Center Chief Mike Manos posted a blog entry yesterday on the company’s vision for next generation data centers. The blog post (and the accompanying animated video) has extensive details on how Microsoft (s MSFT) envisions building the data center of the future — and it definitely has some of the “trailer park” modularity and scalability attributes that I mentioned in my post last week.

Some of the key features of the Generation 4 Modular Data Center design are the use of an innovative spine infrastructure for cooling, power and connectivity; the use of pre-fabricated and completely modular server containers and buildings; and ambitious goals for energy efficiency (an average power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125 for all data centers by 2012).

By putting forth its plans for the Generation 4 Modular Data Center, Microsoft is simultaneously throwing down the gauntlet in the data center arena and showing its cards. By openly sharing its data center plans it is taking the technology and thought leadership away from Google (s GOOG) in the critical area of Internet and services infrastructure. At the same time, in somewhat typical Microsoft fashion, it is asking (or perhaps requiring) the industry to standardize on its data center design approach. Given its influence and buying power with vendors it may get its wish.

Viewing this information in conjunction with announcements of the Azure Services Platform and Office Live, there is no doubt that the giant in Redmond is aggressively focused on delivering enterprise cloud computing. To top it off, market timing could not be better for Microsoft, as its hordes of cash and diversity of enterprise products should prove one version of the Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the rule.”

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