Very rarely we see Microsoft and Google on the same side of the story. Microsoft is joining with Google, Arista, Mellanox and Broadcom to form the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium to support an industry-standard, interoperable Ethernet specification that boosts the performance and slashes the interconnect cost per Gbps between the server Network Interface Controller (NIC) and Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch. They also announced the availability of a specification optimized to allow data center networks to run over a 25 or 50 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet link protocol. Microsoft and Google believes that this new spec will enable the cost-efficient scaling of network bandwidth delivered to server and storage endpoints in next-generation cloud infrastructure, where workloads are expected to surpass the capacity of 10 or 40 Gbps Ethernet links deployed today. The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is an open organization to all third parties who wish to participate as members to enable the transmission ...

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Microsoft deploys thousands of servers every year in its data centers to run its growing web services and cloud business. In fact, they recently revealed that have about one million computers in more than 100 data centers spread over 40 countries. Microsoft’s problem is that chips are no longer improving at the same rate they once were. They want to improve the data center efficiency. So far, all of Microsoft’s data centers are powered by traditional Intel CPUs running usual server software. Now, they are planning to replace it with field-programmable arrays, or FPGAs, processors that Microsoft could modify specifically for use with its own software. These FPGAs are already available in the market and Microsoft is sourcing it from a company called Altera. This whole idea was started by Doug Burger from Microsoft Research, he called it Project Catapult. In a first for Microsoft, he approved a 1,600-server pilot-system to ...

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Microsoft, Verizon, and other tech giants have long believed that the United States cannot force a company to hand over data stored outside the United States. Verizon’s chief lawyer Randall Milch publically commented on this issue in February. He said that the company’s view is “simple,” adding: “The U.S. government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in datacenters outside the U.S., and, if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in court.” Microsoft’s deputy general counsel David Howard also released a statement on the issue: The U.S. government doesn’t have the power to search a home in another country, nor should it have the power to search the content of email stored overseas. Microsoft’s chief legal counsel warned last December that Microsoft would fight any attempt by governments to seize data not located within their country: “…assert available jurisdictional objections to legal demands when governments ...

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