Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Cisco announced that they have signed a multi-year sales and go-to-market deal with Microsoft. This deal is focused on modernizing data centers through the delivery and acceleration of integrated solutions. Microsoft and Cisco will collaborate through sales, marketing and engineering departments on integrating market leading technologies, including Cisco Unified Computing System” (UCS), Cisco Nexus switching and Microsoft Cloud OS solutions including Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Microsoft Azure. Go-to-Market: Cisco and Microsoft agree to a three-year go-to-market plan focused on transforming data centers through the delivery of integrated solutions for enterprise customers and service providers. In year one, the companies will focus on six countries — the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Australia — with expansion to additional countries in the following years. Cisco and Microsoft will align partner incentive programs to accelerate solutions selling via mutual channel partners. ...

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Ahead of the Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft today made no.of announcements on the Azure platform with new and enhanced cloud services. It ranges from increased data center capacity to improved Azure preview portal. 1) Azure Preview Portal enhancements: Microsoft is making Azure preview portal—that bridges the gap between infrastructure and platform services more richer day by day. Today, they announced new IaaS functionality, resource group enhancements, Azure image gallery updates, Azure SQL database and more. 2) New Event Hub: With Azure Event Hub, which launches in preview next week, you can reliably and efficiently stream millions of events per second from millions of devices into multiple applications and storage systems. 3) Expansion of Azure ExpressRoute: Today ExpressRoute is available in three locations in the US and Europe, but thanks to our growing partnership with Equinix, access to Azure via ExpressRoute will roll out in six additional locations around the world. ...

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Microsoft is continuing to expand its data center presence around the world as their cloud services is growing more than the industry average. Earlier this week, they announced that they are expanding their data center investment in Virginia with a $346 million investment which will create 90 new jobs in that area. Read the full press release below, RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Microsoft Corp. will invest $346.7 million to expand its data center site in Mecklenburg County and increase capacity to serve its growing customer base. Virginia successfully competed against other sites in the U.S. for the project, which will create 90 new jobs. Microsoft’s original project in 2010 involved an investment of up to $499 million and 50 new jobs. In 2011 the company invested an additional $150 million to expand the site, and in 2013 announced a $348 million expansion. Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, ...

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It was today reported that Microsoft will build its next billion dollar data center in southeast West Des Moines in Iowa. This upcoming data center will be one of the Microsoft’s largest centers in the U.S., according to plans unveiled today. This “Project Alluvion” is valued at $1.1 billion and will take 154 acres in West Des Moines’ southeast corner. Microsoft already has a data center in the region and the total investment in West Des Moines to just under $2 billion. Microsoft will get incentives from the state government by few millions, but Microsoft has promised to offer 84 jobs in this area. During its meeting Friday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved granting Microsoft a $20.3 million sales tax rebate for the project. That tax rebate would be available until 2021. Those state incentives come on top of the $18 million in incentives already promised by West Des Moines. To receive those incentives, Microsoft ...

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Last year, Microsoft Research revealed that they are working on an unconventional approach to power a datacenter entirely by fuel cells integrated directly into the server racks. Today, they announced that they have successfully demonstrated the concept at the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine. A rack of servers powered directly off the direct current (DC) output of the fuel cell stack, essentially stripping out most of the infrastructure found in the traditional data center energy supply chain. As a result, you will have a very efficient system with a radically simplified supply chain and fewer points of potential failure. But aren’t fuel cells much more expensive than conventional generation technology?  On a pure levelized cost of energy (LCOE) basis, an off-the-shelf fuel cell system will not be cost competitive with conventional generation. In other words, the cost of electrons coming out of the conventional power plant will ...

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