How Microsoft is learning from building computing at scale

At a million servers, computing hits an entirely new level. At that scale, Microsoft CTO of Cloud and Enterprise Dave Campbell, who spoke at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference on Thursday, said that the learnings and the economics of scale are dramatically different than computing on the thousands or tens of thousands of servers scale.

“Building things at this scale is vastly different,” said Campbell, adding that Microsoft(s msft) looks to take those learnings and move them to their customers. Translating that extreme scale to the 10K, or 25K scale of servers is interesting and valuable to its customers, said Campbell.

When looking for people to work on such services at Microsoft, Campbell even says he assesses people’s ability to unlearn what they already know about computing. Sometimes it’s easier when the slate is clean than when it’s filled with legacy computing.

While moderator GigaOM’s Derrick Harris said there’s a perception that Microsoft is missing in the who’s who of cloud, Campbell said it’s actually more of an image problem than one of execution or lack of commitment. When it comes to cloud, “We’ve recognized the shifts, we’ve invested early, and we’re all in,” said Campbell.

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page