A few weeks back we had the privilege of hosting a data centre visit and tour for the residential neighbours of the Dublin data centre. Given the long projected lifespan of our new facility, we’re going to be neighbours for a long time, and so we felt it was important for us to get reacquainted now that the major construction is completed. We were keen to demystify the very large complex that had been emerging right in their back yard over the past year. It was very pleasant to share some pizza, provide a little background presentation, and then show this very important audience the fruits of our innovation.   

Dublin Data Center 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When preparing to present a mega data centre to folks who are not generally familiar with data centres, and who in some cases are very new to computers and the Internet, you have to take a very different approach, and I have to admit to finding it an enjoyable challenge to present Microsoft’s Software plus Services strategy, the emergence of the Internet, and this particular data centre in an informative and entertaining manner. The audience ranged from people in their early 20’s who are just entering the workforce to some who have been retired for many years. A couple had engineering backgrounds and wanted to delve into the construction, mechanical and electrical systems, while others were far more interested in the creature comforts we have in place for our workforce and the impact that our arrival would have on the neighbourhood from an employment, environmental, and security perspective.  

 

It was fascinating to hear their questions and to listen to their feedback as we toured them through the facility showing everything from the air handling units on the roof, the server pods providing hot aisle containment in the colos, and the extensive electrical distribution systems. I never imagined how hard it would be to stay away from the many industry terms and acronyms that we treat as part of our everyday language today, and on a couple of occasions it was only those quizzical looks that alerted us to the fact that we had slipped back into Microspeak again.  

 

 Dublin Server Pod

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on their comments and questions during the visit, it was clear that the community very interested in learning about our approaches to protecting the environment, to guard customer information, and to be an asset to the neighbourhood, the county and Ireland. They asked great questions about how clean and efficient we are, how we manage physical and logical security, what financial investments we were making, and what the impact on local employment would be. They were quite vocal in their enthusiasm for the design that takes advantage of the Irish weather to dramatically improve our power efficiency, reduce our carbon emissions, and to almost completely overcome the need to consume water.  Overall, the visit was a great success, and I believe we were able to provide them with a sense of why we are here, and what makes this new facility such a unique asset to Microsoft and Ireland.  

 

Given the tremendous level of interest in the Dublin facility, and the very positive reaction of this and other engagements we’ve had with the public since the data centre went live on July 1, I’ve decided to start posting regular blogs providing you the reader with some of the same firsthand insight into this facility, as well as some of our broader efforts across Europe and across the globe. Each post will touch on topics relating to the design of our facilities, how we are operating them, and other issues related to Microsoft’s data centre business. My posts will not be deeply technical. I’ll leave that to other GFS subject matter experts, but will focus on the operational aspects and business impacts of what we are doing. Along the way, I’ll share some of the experience I’ve gained over my 18 years at Microsoft, as well as some of the knowledge and wisdom of the people I have the good fortune to work with every day.      

 

In response to these posts, I’m looking forward to your comments, questions and the conversations these will likely stimulate.

 

Catch you again shortly,

jd

 

International Data Centre Manager

Global Foundation Services, Microsoft