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Microsoft plans to build 50 to 100 data centres per year

Written by Fri 30 Apr 2021

Ambitious plan was announced during the unveiling of the Microsoft virtual data centre tour.

Microsoft announced its plan to increase its data centres by 50 to 100 per year – not just next year, but every year for the foreseeable future. The announcement came during the unveiling of the company’s new virtual tours of the ‘typical’ Microsoft data centre.

There were no specifications offered as to whether the new data centres would be new construction or retrofitting of existing facilities; nor whether Microsoft would be taking the projects on alone or would have a partner (or several) in their expansion. They did, however, state that they expect to expand cloud services into 10 new countries this year, which will require some of the data centres planned to be in new locations.

Currently, Microsoft owns more than 200 data centres globally in 34 countries. And in the U.S., they took the lead in leasing the most data centre space of any company: more than Bytedance (owner of TikTok) and Facebook, which rounded out the top three.

Investing in owned data centre space is a good fiscal choice for Microsoft, whose Azure cloud revenue is up 34% year over year, according to the most recent quarterly reports. In the second fiscal quarter of 2021, commercial cloud revenue topped $16.7 billion USD, providing a strong foundation for further cloud investments.

Microsoft recently unveiled a new data centre region in Denmark, which will be powered by 100% renewable energy in partnership with the Danish government.

In addition to expanding into 10 new countries, Microsoft will likely be increasing its data centre footprint in the U.S., to provide services for the government. This need arises in accordance with the $10 billion USD JEDI contract the company was awarded in 2019, beating out competitor Amazon more than once.

Microsoft was more recently awarded a contract by the U.S. Army, to deliver more than 120,000 headsets based on the company’s HoloLens product.  As Microsoft becomes a prominent government contractor on several different fronts, the need to invest in infrastructure – including new data centres – will continue to grow.

Moreover, Microsoft has recently begun promising 99.99 percent SLA uptime with service credits when end users cannot access apps or services. Investing in improvements to the company’s infrastructure may help make 99.99 percent uptime a reality for service providers.

Written by Fri 30 Apr 2021


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