Microsoft set to fire up Dublin data center

The company is pumping in that cold Irish air to chill servers, saving on electricity

Microsoft has opened up for business its new Dublin data center, a massive 550,000-square-foot facility dedicated to serving primarily European customers.

Construction isn't quite done yet, with about 303,000 square feet finished, but Microsoft is accepting clients.

The company will run "cloud" services from the center for consumers, businesses and developers, said Steve Clayton, who works in cloud-computing strategy for Microsoft International.

On the consumer side, the data center will run applications such as Windows Live Mail, formerly Hotmail, as well as Microsoft's other Live-branded services.

Businesses will be able to subscribe to a range of hosted applications, including Exchange e-mail, the Sharepoint collaboration software and Office Communication Server, among others, Clayton said.

The Dublin facility will also host Microsoft's Azure platform, which will be made available in November. Azure is a platform that developers can use to host and manage Web-based applications.

Dublin was chosen for the data center due to the local talent pool, robust Internet connectivity and cool climate, Clayton said.

Microsoft is using outside air to cool the data center. One of the predominant costs for running a data center is electricity in order to keep servers cool.

The data center's operating temperature can be maintained 95 percent of the time without mechanical or refrigerated cooling, such as chilled water systems.

"We literally take outside air and pump it directly into the server room," Clayton said.

The Dublin data center's PUE (power usage effectiveness) is 1.25, which means for every one watt of server power, there's .25 of a watt dedicated to cooling and other electricity-consuming functions, Clayton said.

The industry average PUE for data centers is between 2 and 2.4 PUE. Microsoft's average for all of its data centers is 1.6, although the company wants to reduce that to 1.125 by 2012.

The facility can now generate up to 5.4 megawatts of critical power. Eventually, it will be possible to expand to 22.2 megawatts, Microsoft said.

Customers have the option of having their applications run on their own dedicated server or sharing hardware, which is a cheaper option, Clayton said.

Some administrators don't like the idea of their data being on the same physical server as that of other companies, although virtualization technologies make those arrangements generally more efficient.

Microsoft's moves toward cloud computing have come as the company repeatedly emphasizes that it doesn't see those services replacing on-premise software, or applications installed on PCs.

Other companies, such as Microsoft's competitor Google, have been strong proponents of Web-based applications accessed through a Web browser, which can be cheaper and updated instantly but are dependent on reliable Internet connectivity.

"We believe people will continue to want to run software on premise," Clayton said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoftdata centresazureartic coolingdata centre coolingIreland

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?