Microsoft Joins the Open Compute Project

It's official: Microsoft is contributing cloud server designs to the Open Compute Project (OCP), an industry-wide initiative Facebook kicked off to tackle the challenge of scaling computing infrastructure in an efficient, economical way.

Bill Laing, a corporate vice president of Cloud Enterprise at Microsoft, delivered a keynote address on Tuesday to 3,000 attendees at the Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, Calif. During the presentation, he announced that Redmond is signing on to the open collaboration.

Laing also announced that the company is contributing what it calls the Microsoft cloud server specification: the designs for the most advanced server hardware in Microsoft data centers delivering global cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Bing and others. He expects it to foster more efficient data centers and the adoption of cloud computing.

How the Blueprints Help

EUThe Microsoft cloud server specification essentially provides the blueprints for the data center servers we have designed to deliver the worldEUs most diverse portfolio of cloud services,EU Laing said. EUThese servers are optimized for Windows Server software and built to handle the enormous availability, scalability and efficiency requirements of Windows Azure, our global cloud platform.EU

Laing went on to say that the blueprints offer EUdramaticEU improvements over traditional enterprise server designs: up to 40 percent server cost savings, 15 percent power efficiency gains and 50 percent reduction in deployment and service times. He also expects this server design to contribute to MicrosoftEUs environmental sustainability efforts by reducing network cabling by 1,100 miles and metal by 10,000 tons across its base of 1 million servers.

EUMicrosoft is the only global cloud provider to publicly release these server specifications through OCP, and the information we are sharing is highly detailed. As part of this effort, Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. is open sourcing the software code we created for the management of...

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