From remote work to online shopping, we increasingly depend on cloud computing. The Microsoft Cloud is powered by hundreds of interconnected global datacenters that securely deliver content and services on its trusted Azure platform. Take a look inside a datacenter to learn how Microsoft is delivering cutting-edge technologies, using sustainable systems to minimize environmental impact and innovating to redefine how datacenters work and what they can do.
Powering Daily Life Around the Planet
The cloud is an engine that powers our daily lives. Hundreds of Microsoft datacenters around the world facilitate that activity, storing and managing data with sophisticated physical and logical security measures that control who and what has access to the cloud. Take a virtual step inside a datacenter to learn how the Microsoft Cloud works.
The Server Room
The server room is the heart of the Microsoft Cloud’s massive computing and storage capacity. Innovative server blades, designed and built under Project Olympus, Microsoft’s next-generation model for open-source cloud hardware, deliver capabilities for virtual machines, AI and machine learning, and even full platform services like Microsoft 365.
Datacenter Project Manager, Dublin Ronan Murphy
Ronan says datacenter capacity planning is like a giant game of Tetris. He marvels at how cloud operations have evolved over the last 15 years.
You know, a datacenter is just made up of thousands of servers and a server is essentially no different than your PC at home or your laptop at home, but it’d be just a lot beefier and it would have a lot more redundancy built into it.
My name is Ronan Murphy and I work in the Dublin datacenter campus.
Capacity planning, it’s almost like a giant game of Tetris, where we're looking ahead at what hardware is going to be deployed in our datacenters and, based on the shapes and sizes of that, we just need to slot them into where we think it's going to be the most efficient use of our power and cooling.
It's 14 or 15 years [ago] now I would have started. Back then, that datacenter was absolutely huge. You know, we were calling it a mega datacenter, and it’s now probably one of our smallest facilities at the moment.
No, nothing keeps me up at night. We’re in good hands in our datacenters. We have lots of processes and procedures in place to cover every eventuality.
I totaled up the number of available server rack units in our Dublin datacenters. So if we did stack all of those racks, one on top of another, we would reach about 53 kilometers into the sky.
We’re constantly expanding. And with that brings a lot of change, so we can scale up more efficiently. You'll never get bored working in a Microsoft datacenter.
Microsoft Circular Centers are helping to deliver towards our commitment on Zero Waste, by processing and routing decommissioned servers and hardware components from datacenters to their next useful lives. By integrating circularity into cloud supply chain planning, our Circular Centers initiative defines and optimizes for sustainable paths for every hardware part into and out of our datacenters globally.
Director, Cloud Supply Chain Sustainability, Redmond Vish Viswanathan
Vish leads Microsoft’s circular center recycling program and says it makes him feel optimistic about his three-year-old granddaughter’s future.
I’ve been, obviously, in this industry for a long time. But this is one of the jobs that I wake up every morning and I'm really jazzed about it.
My name is Vish Viswanathan and I manage the circular center program for the cloud supply chain team.
To kind of bring this down to everyday terms, right? We take servers, we bring them to the circular center, we take it apart, and then we maximize reuse.
We have received a lot of interest in what we're doing. There has been a reaction of, “Oh my gosh, that's really good. That's different.” I think the interest is largely because people recognize that the approach we are taking maximizes security, maximizes reuse and sustainability.
Intelligent scheduling risk profiles every asset and component and processes them appropriately to determine whether they get shredded or can be reused, remarketed – internally or externally.
I think we, my generation, we have been blessed. We have had a secure life and I kind of worry about, especially, my grandchildren, I would say.
I have a 3-year-old granddaughter. One of the most enjoyable memories I have: We go to Lake Tahoe, etc. So playing in the snow out there, or just going for walks. It kind of, you know, I'm concerned that if we don't take care of our planet, and be responsible stewards now, when she grows up, she may not have the same experiences.
We absolutely have a responsibility to leave a safe, healthy environment for the generations to come. And being in a in a role that allows me to play some influence, however small it is, I think, is very important.
Data travels from servers to the network room, linked to Microsoft’s global network of datacenter regions. All data is securely kept within the network, which offers low latency, scalability and the latest advancements in cloud technology within one of the largest interconnected networks worldwide.
The Operations Room is where we prioritize the availability and resiliency of our datacenters. Not only do highly trained technicians and artifical intelligence monitor hundreds of thousands of daily data points from the site’s critical infrastructure —including power, cooling, network and security —but they are also supported by cross-company engineering teams and thousands of cybersecurity experts.
Site Operations Manager, Singapore Fangying Liu
Speaking directly from the datacenter in Singapore, Fangying explains her work responsibilities and how the role inspires her.
My name is Fangying. I'm working in Singapore datacenter. I'm datacenter site operations manager. Currently I manage two datacenters. One is in the east, the other one is in the west.
Yeah, I love the job because it's really happening. The business is expanding very fast. I feel very enjoyable that what I'm doing is really helping more and more people. And Microsoft, we have best-in-class technologies. Within this environment, I feel I’m not only supporting others, but also I'm learning a lot myself.
Basically we support everything happening inside the datacenter. We make sure all the equipment, network equipment, cable connectivity, are all healthy. And all the critical environments like the power, like the cooling, are always available to make sure the datacenter is functioning well.
Every technology cannot live alone without a datacenter actually supporting it at the back end. So even though, day-to-day, I'm facing a bunch of servers, automatically all the servers, racks and switches are supporting to make sure the different applications are working well and these applications people are using really make their day-to-day life better.
Microsoft manages datacenter operations in a secure, reliable and sustainable manner, using the latest innovations in technology. Whether this is ensuring the server and network hardware is efficiently cooled, backup systems are reliably maintained, or physical and logical infrastructure are securely protected, people are at the center of everything that happens in our datacenter operations.
Microsoft is at the forefront of cloud innovation. The company continually seeks to improve the security, reliability and sustainability of datacenters to better serve customers and meet growing global demand for cloud computing and digital services.