Modular Datacenters and Dogfooding the Cloud at Microsoft

Welcome to 2011!!  Hope that the New Year is starting off on the right foot for you.

As I began digging out of emails after the holiday break I came across a couple interesting items that peel back the skin on some of the internal activities happening here at Microsoft that I wanted to share with you.

The first was a blog post from the Microsoft Global Foundation Services team titled “Shedding Light on Our New Cloud Farms”.  The post talks about the work going on building out their next-generation, modular datacenter facilities.  I found the information on ITPACs (IT Pre-Assembled Components) - pre-manufactured, fully-assembled module that can be built with a focus on sustainable materials such as steel and aluminum and can house as little as 400 servers and as many as 2,000 servers, significantly increasing flexibility and scalability – to be very interesting including the ITPAC video at this page.  Additionally the self-running Powerpoint video here shows the actual Modular Datacenter PACs at the Quincy, WA. facility.  If you’re interested in this types of behind the scenes info on Microsoft’s own cloud farms, I urge you to bookmark the Global Foundation Services blog or subscribe to their RSS feed.

The other piece I wanted to highlight is a story on InfoWorld by Eric Knorr titled “Microsoft CIO: We’re dog-fooding the cloud”, which is an interview with Microsoft’s CIO Tony Scott.  At Microsoft, we refer to “Dogfooding” as what we do when we’re testing pre-released versions of our software and services with our internal employees.  Tony discusses dogfooding in the interview with Eric touching on topics like Windows Azure, Office 365, and the private cloud.  I urge you to give the article a read and also check out my previous post from November on the topic as well here which included an interview with Tony on  Here’s a video I included in that post as well:

You can find more information on Microsoft’s business related cloud offerings at the Cloud Power site. 

As always, let me know if you have any comments or questions on this post and I’ll try to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Thanks for your time today - Larry

Comments (2)

  1. Tory – Cloud computing holds many potential benefits for businesses to consider including reducing the costs and overhead associated with hardware, power, and software maintenance for starters.  Other businesses are benefitting from the benefits of rapid application development and deployment to the cloud.  For some a Private Cloud ( solution may be more appropriate, while others will find a public cloud platform such as Windows Azure ( to be the right choice.  Some other businesses may simply want to start by investing in Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions such and Microsoft’s BPOS offerings (…/trial-bpos.mspx) which include SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Office Live Meeting.  To start with check out some of the other blog posts on our site which cover topics like the benefits of Private Cloud (…/the-benefits-of-private-cloud-computing.aspx) or the transformation of IT and cloud economics (…/transformation-of-it-and-economics-101-of-the-cloud.aspx).  Finally, explore the Cloud Power site ( where you can find information on what customers, analysts and other third parties are saying about cloud computing.  Hope this is helpful to you in getting started.  Thanks – Larry

  2. Tory Larsen says:

    Larry should one consider investing in 'cloud computing" . Came across it today and looking at the options.

Skip to main content