If the internet were a battleground, then datacenters would be the nuclear missile silos. (I guess that also makes developers the cannonfodder!) According to Russian news site CNews, Microsoft has announced plans to build its first Russian datacenter in Irkutsk, Siberia. While a stable power supply and good network access are important considerations in deciding where to site a new datacenter, we can’t help but feel that the cold Russian winter will make cooling the facility somewhat easier and cheaper than in San Antonio, Texas.
With Skydrive and Hotmail now offering GB’s of storage for millions of users, increasing datacenter space is not a surprise. However with internet users now demanding faster and more feature-complete services, speeding up the path from server to the end-user’s device is critical. Localization is a key factor when it comes to reducing latency, which is why when you consider the other recently announced Microsoft datacenters being located in Dublin, Ireland and the USA, the move into Russia may also be about improving performance for the Asian users of Windows Live. Irkutsk is conveniently located just above Mongolia, only 1000 miles from Beijing. Compare this to over 6000 miles from the West Coast of the USA and suddenly it makes a lot of sense for Microsoft to be investing in this region of Russia (map).
Dan Farber from ZDNet last week questioned where Ray Ozzie is – looks like he’s planning out his Software + Services moves for next year.
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