Bing Maps Deploys in Dell’s Modular Data Centers

There are times when you sit back and look at a solution after it is implemented and smile.  This week is yet another example of what can happen when you think outside the box when it comes to technology, and consider a revolutionary approach to IT.  That is exactly what Microsoft has done, first with Windows Azure, and now, Bing Maps with their deployment of the Modular Data Center from Dell Data Center Solutions.

“With the new approach to our site design, coupled with the Dell Modular Data Center solution, we project roughly an 8x reduction in cost when compared to traditional models” said Brad Clark, Group Program Manager with Bing Imagery Technologies. “From a power consumption perspective, we had one megawatt of power with our legacy equipment, and then Dell comes in at 180 kilowatts of power. So that’s one-fifth the cost of power for about five times the amount of compute density. That obviously lowers the electrical bill.”

Let’s look at some of the facts and figures about the deployment:

  • 8x reduction in cost over more traditional data centers
  • 5x the compute density for 1/5 the cost of power compared to their legacy containers
  • Two of the MDCs hold 15 racks filled with servers and storage.
  • On the server side, 5 racks hold 440 optimized servers, and each server sled has 4 x 2-TB drives for 17.8 petabytes of storage.
  • The other 10 racks hold 440 storage sleds, each with 16 x 2-TB drives.
  • The result is 40 terabytes of storage per server, all running over high-speed Mellanox InfiniBand networking.
  • In a 24-hour period, the team transferred ~250 terabytes from one MDC to another.
  • They are running at ~70% utilization and in 24 hours, they can generate ~205 terabytes of new data.
  • One Dell MDC has the same density as five of their legacy IT containers.
  • A lot of traditional container approaches are around 8-12 million dollars per megawatt, and Bing reports they’re at about one million!
Let’s be real here.  Very few companies have IT budgets that are growing, so we are being forced to do more with less, and when we can take a revolutionary approach…when we can really think outside of the box, there is a great deal that can be learned from this deployment.  We all know that Microsoft has data centers around the world, but looking at this piece of land in Colorado, it allowed them to deploy a world-class data center at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to built a raised-floor data center.  Deployment time is measured in days, not weeks or months.  And finally, when you break it down, sometimes it pays to think inside the box.  The question is, what do you put in that box, and who makes it for you.

Until next time, I’ll see you in the Cloud!

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