Christian Belady and David Gauthier from Microsoft have started a blog on Microsoft data centers. They start off with a bang by building on the Michael Manos blog post about Generation 4 data centers. Christian and David sit down with Adam Bomb from the Edge Technet site and answer a fair amount of questions that came as a result of people reading the Gen4 ideas.
They talk about the fact that it is truely a modular solution for the entire data center, and not just the server containers. David mentioned legos as building blocks, so I couldn't resist the title to my blog post. :)
The only question un-answered that I can think of is about natural disasters. I would have to think that the containers are some how anchored down in order to protect against tornadoes.
The only other comment I'll make on this follow-up information is that David mentioned how much shorter the build time is for Gen4. Instead of 12-18 months for construction, they expect the Gen4 sites to be ready in 3-6 months! Christian then mentioned that they are 'piloting' the modular concepts, and pulling together specs, etc. Then...... earlier today I read a brief article from the Des Moines Register stating that the plans for Des Moines data center were still on track. The article says that construction is due to begin this Spring or Summer. I think that is enough time to really nail down the supply chain process and get those containers rolling into Des Moines! At the August press conference Michael Manos said “We are implementing a very new design that’s just coming out of our research and development department, so we need to get that finalized”. The other clue is that the Register article describes it as a "150,000 sq. ft. facility". I imagine this goes back to changing the entire model for a data center.... if they would have told the press they were building a 42-acre "yard" for containers they probably would have had some puzzled looks.
But.....if San Antonio is 470,000 sq.ft. and Chicago is 441,000 sq.ft - why is the Des Moines site only 150,000?
I'll be in Des Moines in a couple of weeks and see what other clues I can find on-site.