Inside Bing's 'Battlestar Galactica' Container

Robert Scoble provides a look inside a Microsoft container packed with more than five petabytes of data to support the Bing Maps application. Some serious eye candy here.

A look inside a Microsoft container used to host five petabytes of data for Bing Maps. (Photo by Robert Scoble)

Microsoft's first deployment of data center containers was at the company's Boulder, Colorado facility. Back in 2008 the company deployed a Verari container to power Microsoft's Virtual Earth application. This week Robert Scoble of Building 43 provides an update on that project, which now features two containers. Check out Robert's post for the details of his visit.

The newest container is jam-packed with more than five petabytes of storage, as shown in Robert's photo from inside the container (see above). The unusual appearance is due to the cabling being accessible from the front of the server, rather than the back. This allows the storage units to be maintained from the center cold aisle, which enables more capacity and also prevents technicians from having to work in the hot aisle in a facility engineered for above-average temperatures for improved efficiency.

The Bing team refers to the latest container as its "Battlestar Galactica" design. A third module will soon be added that uses Microsoft's latest IT-PAC design and will be cooled using fresh air rather than chillers. Here's a video in which the Bing Maps team provides an overview of the Boulder installation an a look inside the container. This runs about 2 minutes, 30 seconds.

Image by Robert Scoble via Flickr.

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