Millions of servers: the future of cloud firms Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Microsoft

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Millions of servers: the future of cloud firms Amazon, Google, Yahoo, eBay and Microsoft

Tony Collins

Google

Estimated to have one million servers in about 36 datacentres. One of its main datacentres is on the banks of the Columbia River at The Dalles, Oregan. It is said to have best-in-class energy costs for the amount of computing power. Two main buildings are at The Dalles, each of about 6,500 square metres.

Amazon

Another hush-hush datacentre is at Boardman, Oregan, which is said to be owned by Amazon. It has three buildings and a 10MW electricity substation.

Microsoft

Its Quincy facility in Washington state houses the initial version of its Windows Azure cloud-based operating system. The facility is said to be the size of 10 American football pitches, and has 1.5 metric tons of batteries for back-up power. The datacentre consumes 48MW - enough power for 40,000 homes. Microsoft is building other facilities in Chicago, San Antonio and Dublin. The company is also said to be looking for a site in Siberia. Bill Gates said last year that Microsoft already has hundreds of thousands of servers and will have "many millions" in future.

Yahoo

It also chose the tiny town of Quincy - population 5,044, tucked in a valley dotted with potato farms - for a facility of about 13,000 square metres, its second datacentre in the region. The company says it plans to operate both datacentres with a zero-carbon footprint by using, among other things, hydropower, water-based chillers and external cold air to do some of the cooling. As some observers put it, the potato farms have yielded to the server farms.

eBay

16,000 servers, 268 million users, three basic applications: e-commerce auction, Paypal and Skype.

Source Randy Katz and Ian Osborne, Intellect.


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