Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Microsoft Cloud May Exceed 200k Servers

A video produced by Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability group may have revealed how much weight the company is throwing behind its cloud computing initiative.

Long Zheng posted an item on his
I Started Something blog that allegedly disclosed Microsoft’s data center numbers and corresponding power consumption. With an eagle eye, Zheng took screen captures from the video of a status console that listed Microsoft’s servers from Amsterdam to Tukwila, Washington.

If Zheng’s report is accurate, Microsoft was running 15 data centers worldwide hosting 148,357 servers on 17,406 racks and consuming 72,500KW of power as of January. Roughly half of those servers were churning for Live Search, followed by Hotmail, and “other.”

Reports indicate that Microsoft is adding servers at a rate of 10,000 per month; the company may by now have installed its 200,000th server. That’s one big cloud.

-- David Worthington

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More on Midori: Security

The final piece of SD Times reporter David Worthington's exclusive, groundbreaking coverage of Microsoft's "Midori" operating system has been posted on sdtimes.com. The focus is security, and looks at how Microsoft is using memory access control to protect against privilege elevation attacks. Worthington was able to examine internal Microsoft documents on the operating system, which is conceived for a post-Windows world of high connectivity and cloud computing. The first part of his coverage looked at the technical features of Midori, while the second piece discusses a migration path from Windows platforms to the new Midori OS. There is great depth to the reporting, as SD Times is the only news organization to have seen the documentation. In this world of Internet journalism, every site has a Midori story up, but SD Times is the only site to have first-hand, in-depth knowledge of the project. It's fascinating reading.
-- David Rubinstein


Friday, August 1, 2008

Rackspace IPO Will Be a Good Test

Next Friday will be the first day that Rackspace shows up on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is expecting to raise around US$ 2 billion in its IPO, and most of that money is likely to be spent on expanding the company's already massive datacenters. The Rackspace IPO will be a very interesting bellwether for this troubled economy, and depending on how the stock ends its day next Friday, we'll see a great indicator for how the market feels about technology.
When VMware went public last year, it was the darling of tech. Today, it's still flying high, with 90 percent stakeholder EMC turning in big numbers. But the VMware IPO came in a very different economy. Today, we have crumbling housing markets, an oil price crisis, escalating inflation and a country on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Does that bode well for launching a tech company into the stock market? The truth is, no one really knows.
There are many ways the IPO could go. With share prices expected to be around $16, the company is not entering the game like Google or Amazon did back in the day. Rackspace's share prices probably won't inflate into triple digits, as tech stocks were wont to do in the late 90's. On the other side of the coin, Rackspace won't be using this newfound capital to install swimming pools and golden parachutes: the management of the company is only taking around 300,000 shares. That's because Rackspace has repeatedly reminded Wall Street that it's only coming to town for the investment, not the fame and fortune.
With Rackspace having built around $500 million in yearly revenues on just over $40 million worth of investment, it's exciting to think what the company could accomplish with $2 billion under its belt. It is very likely that Rackspace could become the name most synonymous with server hosting, just as Google has done with search and VMware has done with virtualization.
With all that dough coming in, one thing is for sure: whoever is selling servers and switches to Rackspace is going to be very happy in the coming months.
-- Alex Handy