At the same time, the cost of such a data center is $ 500 million, which, in principle, is almost the usual price for data centers of corporations of this level. So, Microsoft is going to completely change the structure of its existing data center, almost completely rebuilding and expanding it. This need arose because of the constant increase in the activity of users of various services of the corporation. According to the company's management, the new data center is a fourth-generation structure, and it was called that in the project, Gen4. Gen4 will be completely modular, not only with respect to servers, but also with respect to the general infrastructure (power grid, mechanics, water supply, etc.).
As for the servers, they will be installed in special containers, which in size reach the size of ordinary containers for the transport of goods. The developers believe that this method of hosting servers will allow to avoid a number of troubles in case of any failures and accidents. In addition, the modular infrastructure of the data center itself assumes its resistance to external influences. In other words, if a fire happens, or a hurricane, or something else, the data center will be very quickly restored, literally “cube by cube”.
Interestingly, each of the containers where the servers are located, are independent mini-data centers, since each of them has its own power supply system, cooling, etc. The company's management believes that this way of hosting servers and the overall structure of the data center is ideal for cloud services.
The modular scheme allows to reduce capital costs by about 20-40%, which is a very significant amount, if you operate with millions of dollars. Among other things, Microsoft reports that the cost of server maintenance will be significantly reduced in the new data center, which often exceeds the cost of the servers themselves. This is achieved, again, thanks to such a modular structure.
If it is necessary to increase capacity, it can be very easy to do by simply adding a few mini-data centers, which will quickly join the general scheme of the data center "womb". This is another point that allows you to talk about significant savings. Most likely, after the creation of its new data center (it will be located in Southern Virginia), Microsoft will rebuild its other data centers, converting them into structures like Gen4.Source of