Inside Windows Azure's data center, one of world's largest

CNet was able to get an exclusive look inside one of the largest data centers in the world, owned by Microsoft to help power cloud-computing with Windows Azure. The secret location of the data center, located somewhere in Chicago, is not your ordinary data center setup, they're in shipping containers.

The new data centers are brought in by shipping containers, housing anywhere between 1,800 and 2,500 servers each. Once the shipping containers arrive, the team can install each of the server groups in under a day, where it would normally take months to setup and install servers. The servers remain inside the shipping containers inside the facility, where they are placed side by side and stacked two high.

The new water cooled facility, which runs 7.5 miles of piping, is roughly 700,000 square feet, where each shipping container occupies roughly 12,000 square feet each and consumes three megawatts of power, on average.

(Image courtesy of

The general manager of infrastructure services for Microsoft's data center operations, Arne Josefsber said, "I think, I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think this could be the largest data center in the world."

Microsoft plans to talk about the commercial launch of Windows Azure at this year's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), in Los Angeles, where Neowin will be reporting live.

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