Microsoft Supply Chain Center Could Shorten Server Lead Times

Microsoft’s answer to mounting data center supply chain woes puts an enterprise supply chain command center in a low-code, vendor connection-enabled platform.

Data Center Knowledge

November 14, 2022

2 Min Read
Row of blade server system in data center
Haiyin Wang / Alamy Stock Photo

Microsoft today launched a platform that uses AI to help manage and predict the supply chain’s impact on your data center operations and planning. The platform functions as a command center to effectively manage data, applications, internal collaboration, predictive analysis, and order management for enterprise supply chains.

The Microsoft Supply Chain Center comes at a time when firms struggle to refresh data center hardware due to supply chain slowdowns. These delays, say JP Morgan financial analysts, are caused by China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to alter the flow of equipment into global markets. The Russia-Ukraine war came just as global economies showed signs of recovery, affecting many of the resources needed to supply the tech industry. 

Additionally, research firm IDC predicts that by 2024 top-level companies will leverage technology to innovate their way out of global crises such as supply chain disruption.

The suite of tools in the Microsoft Supply Chain Center interlaces the firm’s existing resources, such as Dynamics 365, Teams, Azure AI, and Dataverse, with ERP systems SAP and Oracle, according to Microsoft’s fact sheet.

The Microsoft Supply Chain Center is part of a larger offering, the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, which connects enterprises with software development firms to help them navigate setup and migrations.

Related:Supply Chain as a Partner for Growth

Solutions for Relieving the Data Center Server Supply Chain Crunch

Moving workloads to the cloud is the solution for some organizations to address the growing demand for compute power stemming from the remote work movement.

It’s important to note that cloud solutions providers also feel the supply chain pinch. In fact, the big three cloud players – Microsoft, AWS, and Google Cloud – have all extended useful life of data center hardware.

Microsoft announced an extension of the lifespan of network equipment assets from four to six years during an earnings call in August. Amazon and Google had already made similar moves to reduce the pain of supply chain delays by extending the useful life of their servers.

“We see an appetite for using servers for six and even seven years at the enterprise if servicing and support can be arranged,” wrote Vladimir Galabov, head of cloud and data center research at Omdia. “We believe that most end users will not use servers for longer than seven years.”

Galabov also recommends reducing the criticality of each server by sticking to patch schedules, dynamic workload allocation, new data management, and consistent backup practices - all of which boost the useful live of servers over time.

Related:Big Tech’s Dirty Supply Chains Undercut Climate Promises From HQ

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