Microsoft has provided an update on its data center roadmap today, in which General Manager of Datacenter Services Kevin Timmons expanded upon his “inflection point” presentation at the recent DatacenterDynamics New York event. Timmons’ blog post discusses Microsoft’s use of Pre-Assembled Components to achieve a faster and cheaper construction process, and provides some detail on the design and construction of the company’s “ITPAC” data center containers. The post was accompanied by a video (Silverlight required), which provides a detailed look at the components of an ITPAC, and includes airflow diagrams of the container.
“Our development team is considering a number of different sizes of ITPACs in order to make the units easily shippable, and they could contain approximately 400 to 2,500 compute servers and draw 200 to 600 kilowatts depending on the server mix between compute and storage,” Timmons writes. “Once built, the units can be placed inside a large building or when equipped with outer protective panels, they can reside out in the open and be linked together to build out an entire datacenter.
“These facilities will not be pretty and might actually resemble the barns I spent so much time around during my childhood in rural Illinois,” he continued. “That, combined with the fact that these facilities will be substantially lower cost per megawatt to build and substantially lower cost to run, makes it very easy to become excited about what we’re doing here.”