Main hardware engineering at an organization recognized for its huge portfolio of software program functions and techniques just isn’t as unusual because it sounds, because the Microsoft Cloud depends upon hardware as the muse of belief, reliability, capability, and efficiency, to make it doable for Microsoft and our prospects to attain extra. The underlying infrastructure that powers our 60 plus datacenter areas throughout 140 nations consists of hardware and techniques that sit throughout the bodily buildings of datacenters—enabling thousands and thousands of consumers to execute essential and superior workloads, resembling AI and quantum computing, in addition to unleashing future improvements.
Datacenter hardware growth is crucial to the evolution of the Microsoft Cloud
Because the Microsoft Cloud affords companies and merchandise to satisfy the world’s ever-growing computing calls for, it’s essential that we constantly design and advance hardware techniques and infrastructure to ship better efficiency, increased effectivity, and extra resiliency to prospects—all with safety and sustainability in thoughts. At this time, our hardware engineering efforts and investments focus closely on roadmap and lifecycle planning, sourcing and provisioning of servers, and innovating to ship next-generation infrastructure for datacenters. In our new Hardware Innovation weblog sequence, I’ll be sharing among the hardware growth and investments which are driving probably the most affect for the Microsoft Cloud and making Azure the trusted cloud that delivers modern, dependable, and sustainable hybrid cloud options. However first, let’s look “underneath the hood” of a Microsoft datacenter:
From server to cloud: the end-to-end cloud hardware lifecycle
Our hardware planning begins with what prospects need: capability, differentiated companies, cost-savings, and finally the power to unravel tougher issues with the assistance of the Microsoft Cloud. We combine key concerns resembling buyer suggestions, operational evaluation, expertise vetting, with analysis of disruptive improvements into our technique and roadmap planning, enchancment of current hardware in our datacenters for compute, community structure, and storage, whereas future-proofing modern workloads for scale. Our engineers then design, construct, check, and combine software program and firmware into hardware fleets that meet a stringent set of high quality, safety, and compliance necessities earlier than deploying them into Microsoft’s datacenters throughout the globe.
Sourcing and provisioning cloud hardware, sustainably and securely
With Microsoft’s scale, the methods during which we provision, deploy, and decommission hardware components have the potential to drive large planetary affect. Whereas we work with suppliers to reimagine a extra resilient and environment friendly provide chain utilizing applied sciences resembling blockchain and digital twins, we additionally intention to have sustainability constructed into each step of the best way. An instance of our sustainability management is the execution of Microsoft Round Facilities, the place servers and hardware which are being decommissioned are repurposed—efforts which are anticipated to extend the reuse of servers and elements by as much as 90 % by 2025. I will probably be sharing extra on our Round Facilities progress this yr. We even have in place the Azure Safety and Resiliency Structure (ASRA) as an method to drive safety and resiliency persistently and comprehensively throughout the Microsoft Cloud infrastructure provide chain.
Innovating to ship next-generation datacenter infrastructure
We’re investigating and growing expertise that will enable datacenters to be extra agile, environment friendly, and sustainable to function whereas assembly the computing calls for of the longer term. We showcased growth in datacenter vitality effectivity, resembling our two-phase liquid immersion cooling, permitting extra densely packed servers to slot in smaller areas, and addressing processor overclocking for increased computing effectivity with a decrease carbon footprint. We additionally proceed to spend money on and develop workload-optimized infrastructure—from servers, racks, techniques, to datacenter designs—for extra customized general-purpose choices in addition to specialised compute resembling AI, high-performance computing, quantum, and past.
Constructing probably the most superior and modern hardware for the clever cloud and the clever edge
The journey of constructing Microsoft Cloud’s hardware infrastructure is an thrilling and humbling one as we see continuous development in expertise to satisfy the wants of the second. I’ve been within the hardware business for greater than thirty years—but, I’m extra excited every day as I work alongside leaders and consultants on our staff, with our companions throughout the business, and with the open supply group. Like most of the cloud companies that sit on prime of it, Microsoft’s hardware engine runs on consistency in high quality, reliability, and scalability. Keep tuned as we proceed to share extra deep dives and updates of our cloud hardware growth, progress, and outcomes—and work to drive ahead expertise development, allow new capabilities, and push the boundaries of what we are able to obtain within the clever cloud and the clever edge.