Microsoft Brings Two More Mega Data Centers Online in July

I am really excited that our team is now reaching another key milestone in data center innovations. July marks the launch of our two newest mega data centers in Chicago and Dublin. Our Dublin facility will go live on July 1, followed by our Chicago facility on July 20 to support our growing Online, Live, and Cloud services.

Together these Generation 3 facilities demonstrate Microsoft’s continuing commitment to improving data center efficiency with a focus on environmental sustainability.

The Dublin, Ireland, data center is our first mega data center built outside of the United States. This building covers 303,000 square feet, with 5.4 mega watts of critical power available now. Over time, the data center can expand to a total of 22.2 mega watts of critical power, growing with our business and customer demand. The facility makes extensive use of outside air economization to cool the facility year round, resulting in greater power efficiency with a resultant reduction in carbon footprint.

Dublin data center 

                                           Dublin Data Center

The Chicago, Illinois facility covers over 700,000 square feet—approximately the size of 16 football fields—with critical power of 60 megawatts. Phase 1 represents 30 mega watts of critical power and the rest is pre-positioned for future growth. Two-thirds of the Chicago data center is optimized for housing containerized servers. Containers conserve energy and will help us realize new advancements in power efficiency with a PUE yearly average calculated at 1.22.  These prepackaged units (with up to 1,800 to 2,500 servers each) can be wheeled into the facility and made operational within hours, so they represent important advances in the ability to quickly and efficiently provision capacity. The density inside the containers can exceed 10 times that of traditional data centers.

Chicago data center

It is truly exciting to bring these two data centers online. We take great pride in the innovations they deliver to move the data center industry forward and to extend Microsoft’s online services to customers globally.  As the company’s Software-plus-Services strategy progresses, these data centers will play a key supporting role.

I’d like to extend my congratulations and thanks to everyone at Microsoft who was involved in creating these state-of-the-art facilities and to all the local and regional trades people and organizations that helped make them possible. For more information on our cloud infrastructure strategy and services please visit our web site.


Arne Josefsberg,

General Manager of Infrastructure Services

Global Foundation Services

Comments (4)
  1. Anonymous says:

    We are moving our primary means of cooling forward with airside economization such as we’ve deployed in our latest Dublin facility in order to significantly reduce our water and energy consumption. In both airside and water cooled data centers, we continue to investigate effective systems for heat recovery. [Daniel Costello]

  2. Swissmonkey says:

    Why not use water to cool the datacenter? You could then use the warmth to heat a swimming pool, or heat the building, or heat other buildings with a district heating system.

  3. Tom Nead says:

    Great to read and see your infrastructure construction efforts coming to fruition, Arne.  The scale of the centers and the technologies you’re deploying continue to be very impressive indeed!  With the Supreme Court ruling yesterday in favor of Cablevision’s network DVR service, it’s yet another strong indicator that your data center investments will pay off.  Cloud computing investments will no doubt reap great rewards.

    Hope you’re well!



    Director, Convergys Corp.

  4. Kevin Bross says:

    Re:  Comment on using water to heat swimming pool

    There are some applications to this (Intel posted some information on this at, but the big issue is one of scale.  200MW converted to heat is one giant toaster–a swimming pool is too small a heat sink to absorb all that energy.  Some of the heat can be used for something like this, but it’s unlikely that you would have a need for that much hot water directly adjacent to a data center.

    [There’s an interesting example where Tampa Electric’s Big Bend power plant creates a warm enough discharge into a canal that it has become a home for manatees:  see for more info.]

    A big issue is what to do during the hottest months.  These are the times that swimming pools, greenhouses, and office buildings are unlikely to want the hot water, so you still need the big HVAC plants.  During cooler weather, economizer modes or other "free cooling" mechanisms might reduce the amount of hot water available for other purposes.

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