So when Google gave an unprecedented inside peek inside its efforts to green its servers and offered up some hard numbers in the form of Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metrics, Microsoft couldn't resist the chance to try one-up its competitor with its own server efforts.
The software and hardware giant says it is installing new servers contained within 40-foot shipping containers at its Chicago data center. It says its new containers are ultra-efficient, sporting a PUE of 1.22, according to Microsoft’s Mike Manos. This comes close to Google's average PUE of 1.21 at its six company-built data centers, which it was recently bragging about.
The Northlake, Illinois data center has just completed its first phase of construction in what will be a $550M USD project yielding a 500,000 square-foot facility. Mr. Manos added, "The facility is already simply amazing and it’s a wonder to behold. The joke we use internally is that this is not your mother’s data center. You get that impression from the first moment you step into the ‘hangar bay’ on the first floor. The hangar’s first floor will house the container deployments and I can assure you it is like no data center you have ever seen. It’s one more step to the industrialization of the IT world, or at least the cloud-scale operations space."