James Hamilton and Michael Manos have been perhaps the most visible advocates of Microsoft's switch to a data center design featuring servers in shipping containers. Hamilton departed for Amazon in December, and this week we learned that Manos is taking a new position at Digital Realty Trust.
Last week Microsoft hired Dayne Sampson for a key position in Global Foundation Services. As noted in much of the media coverage, Sampson came from Yahoo, a company that does not feature data center containers in its design (at least not publicly).
Is Microsoft rethinking its commitment to containers, including the container-centric, roofless Generation 4 data center design vision it announced in December? The company says no.
"We remain committed to the containerized data center model and executing our modular Generation 4 data center vision," a Microsoft spokesperson told us. "Online, Cloud and Live services are a major focus of Microsoft, and as we continue to build out our offerings and complete the Chicago and Dublin data centers, our team is working to make the right, smart operational and infrastructure investments for today and tomorrow."
Microsoft's Arne Josefsburg noted Manos' departure in a blog post last night. "I feel privileged to have had Mike as part of my Infrastructure Services leadership team - he’s done an outstanding job delivering on our data center strategy, encouraging cross-industry information sharing, and was instrumental in helping us build a world-class data center team," Josefsburg wrote. "I want to publicly thank Mike for his excellent work and wish him the best in his new position. All of us here are going to miss his enthusiasm and passion."
Josefsburg also said Manos has "one more post in mind" for the Microsoft data center blog, so we may hear more from Mike soon. He starts his new position at Digital Realty in May.