Microsoft Tackles Data Center Backup Power Efficiency at OCP Summit
A year after joining the open-source data center hardware movement, Microsoft returns with new power, switching and SSD storage advancements.Microsoft made waves last year when it announced that it had joined Facebook's Open Compute Project (OCP), a syndicate of technology organizations promoting innovation in energy-efficient, open-specification hardware for cloud and Web-scale data centers. Microsoft contributed a server design, dubbed the Open CloudServer specification (OCS), that packs up to 23 commodity servers in a 12U chassis plus a JBOD, or 'just a bunch of disks', storage expansion option that streamlines network cabling and cuts power consumption. Now, with the group's Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, Calif., as a backdrop, Microsoft is revealing what's next in store. Kushagra Vaid, general manager of server engineering for Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, chimed in with a March 10 blog post to preview the latest contributions it is making to OCP. First, however, he delivered an update on OCS v2, which his company unveiled in October. In short, the tech is already powering much of Microsoft's cloud ecosystem. "Today, all new hardware infrastructure being deployed for Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Bing and Xbox Live is based on the OCS version 2 specification," he said. "With OCS v2, we added a number of performance and efficiency improvements via innovations in latest processor technology (Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3), high-bandwidth networking (40-gigabit Ethernet and ROCE v2) and more."
At the summit, Microsoft is unveiling its Local Energy Storage (LES) specification, a distributed approach to uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and other technologies that keep server hardware running in the event of a power failure. Instead of a centralized backup power facility within a data center, LES places lithium-ion (Li-Ion) backup batteries into the server chassis.