Today, Microsoft won a prestigious Green Enterprise IT Award from the Uptime Institute for the bold IT initiatives we utilized in our recently opened datacenter in Chicago. The facility integrates new design solutions which have led to greater efficiencies and carbon waste reductions.  This includes a significant reduction in water and material usage enabled by the deployment of containers and other IT innovations. The Uptime Institute is an organization that is focused on providing education and thought leadership for the enterprise datacenter industry and for datacenter professionals. The Green Enterprise IT Awards are the Uptime Institute's highest honor.


By incorporating containers we have reduced carbon waste from extra packaging of servers and equipment and individual transport shipping consumables such as cardboard, styrofoam, plastic, and other packaging materials.  The highly innovative approach to design, construction and operations has also allowed us to fully deploy thousands of servers within a few hours, with a drastically reduced carbon footprint and great cooling efficiencies, with a reduced PUE of 1.15 - 1.22 across the facility.


Containers in the Chicago Datacenter


When we began construction of the facility in 2007, our belief in modularization and the use of containers as computing modules at huge scale was not only a stretch for our organization, but for the entire industry. Our container approach in Chicago is also being utilized by others and has helped bring  much needed new ways of thinking about how to deploy capacity in shorter timeframes, while driving more engineering efficiencies in the datacenter industry.  Another Green IT approach has been the use of water-side economization which enables us to cool the facility without requiring the high levels of electricity typically needed to power large chillers. 


I’m particularly proud of the way that our team has continued to drive new operational sustainability technologies across the entire datacenter infrastructure and IT, and that we continue to be committed to sharing our research findings and best practices with others in the industry.  By sharing our best practices, we hope others in the industry will also be able to reduce their overall carbon footprint, and ultimately help make all of us even better stewards of the environment. 


//Kev


You can find out more details about Microsoft’s Chicago datacenter
here