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Does Microsoft build it's own servers for it's data centre's?

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  • User profile image
    RamblingGeek​UK

    Does anyone know, have any links?

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    evildictait​or

    What do you mean "build it's own servers"?

    Most of Microsoft's data servers run Windows Server, if that's what you mean (some run multiple OSes via Hypervisor like all of the Windows Azure stuff, and some don't have any OS like the machines that do SSL decryption and load-balancing).

    If you mean the hardware, then no. Most of them are off-the-shelf servers from companies that sell servers. Microsoft isn't really in the making custom servers business, and it's cheaper to buy them from someone that does.

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    fanbaby

    , evildictait​or wrote

    If you mean the hardware, then no. Most of them are off-the-shelf servers from companies that sell servers. Microsoft isn't really in the making custom servers business, and it's cheaper to buy them from someone that does.

    1. I doubt that
    2. If so, then Microsoft knows something that facebook and Google don't
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    evildictait​or

    , fanbaby wrote

    *snip*

    1. I doubt that
    2. If so, then Microsoft knows something that facebook and Google don't

    Care to elaborate? Google's servers are commodity-class x86 PCs running customized linux OSes too.

    And Google doesn't make those either. They buy them. Because Google isn't a hardware company, and it's always cheaper and easier to buy hardware from someone who operates at scale than to try a half-assed attempt to roll your own when you're not even in that industry.

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    figuerres

    , Kryptos wrote

    Does anyone know, have any links?

    I think for the azure stuff I saw a thing that said they spec a large box full of stuff that is shipped and managed as one "module" in the data center and that it had a number of servers and other gear all setup in advance.  I bet they have contracts for them that spec what goes in each module.

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    fanbaby
  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    @fanbaby

    I think perhaps we're talking cross-purposes. Microsoft's (and Google's, and Facebook's) servers are built out of commodity components. They aren't boxes like you'd buy in a store and put under your desk - that's for sure, but they aren't built by Google or Microsoft either. For one, neither Microsoft nor Google has the machinery, or the inclination to build custom RAM chips, processors, hard disks, racks etc etc etc. These are all off-the-shelf components.

    Microsoft's and Google's datafarms compete primarily on software and the configuration of the components, not on the components themselves, which are all bog-standard off-the-shelf components.

     

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    figuerres
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    Harlequin

    Have seen the containers in stories before....guess we can see by the photos that they're full of Dell servers...

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    DCMonkey

    , evildictait​or wrote

    @fanbaby

    I think perhaps we're talking cross-purposes. Microsoft's (and Google's, and Facebook's) servers are built out of commodity components. They aren't boxes like you'd buy in a store and put under your desk - that's for sure, but they aren't built by Google or Microsoft either. For one, neither Microsoft nor Google has the machinery, or the inclination to build custom RAM chips, processors, hard disks, racks etc etc etc. These are all off-the-shelf components.

    Microsoft's and Google's datafarms compete primarily on software and the configuration of the components, not on the components themselves, which are all bog-standard off-the-shelf components.

     

    I'm pretty sure you're the only one in this thread that thought he meant they forge their own chips. 

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    PopeDai

    , Kryptos wrote

    Does anyone know, have any links?

    I can't speak for the Azure datacenters or the stuff that powers services like Skype or Xbox live, but in our labs and datacenters on campus all I see are racks of Dell PowerEdge boxes. It's weird - I'd have thought given we use HP for our workstations that there'd be at least some ProLiant boxes, but nope... at least not that I can see.

    The guy in the office down the corridor to mine has three Dell R900 boxes sitting on a desk, doing nothing. That's $30,000 worth of hardware right there.

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    PopeDai

    , DCMonkey wrote

    I'm pretty sure you're the only one in this thread that thought he meant they forge their own chips. 

    When I was 15/16 and expressed desire of building my own desktop PC at home, my dad thought "building my own computer" meant doing it like this. I think he was a bit disappointed when he found out it just meant spending a grand on stuff from Amazon and putting it together in a matter of hours.

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    ZippyV

    I remember seeing a video about Dell OEM (here on Channel9?). Google is/was a customer of them.

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    Jim Young

    , PopeDai wrote

    The guy in the office down the corridor to mine has three Dell R900 boxes sitting on a desk, doing nothing. That's $30,000 worth of hardware right there.

    To be fair, production of  R900s stopped a couple of years ago. Still, I wouldn't mind having one or two of those Smiley

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