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Microsoft data center pictures

A post on Gizmodo has some good pictures and short video of the container-based approach for housing machines in some Microsoft data centers such as the ones used to run Bing.

Working on the software side of cloud services, it is at times easy to forget how much hardware, infrastructure, sophistication exists in these mega deployments. While it's important to understand the characteristics of the deployment environment when building applications, at the same time it's really remarkable how easy it is to deploy code at a large-scale onto thousands of machines without even knowing which state they're physically in.

I do wonder whether one day we'll look at these huge data centers and find them quaint relics of the past, a throwback to when there were efficiency gains to be had by physically consolidating the weak computing power of the day. That day is still a good way away.

The Microsoft Datacenters blog actually has some interesting longer posts on the topic. The Global Foundation Services site also has some deeper whitepapers too.