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Microsoft Accelerates Its Data Center Expansion

Microsoft is accelerating a global expansion of its data center infrastructure to support growth in its Azure cloud services and Xbox Live gaming service. At a time when many cloud builders are debating whether to build or buy their data center space, Microsoft is doing both.

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datacenterknowledge.com
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DiRtY1117d ago

But Blow said "MS are LIARZ!" when they announced 300k servers for XBL...

YNWA961117d ago

Why do people who submit stories have to be the first ones to comment! Leave it be, let others have there say!!!

malokevi1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

Saw this yesterday. Not surprised. This info has been out there for a while.

"This week Microsoft said it would also invest $250 million to build a new data center in Finland."

That's almost as much of an investment in a single pre-existing data center in Finland as Sony invested in it's entire Gaiaka service.

Are the morons who keep trumpeting "Sony's cloud is as capable and more proven than MS' Azure" going to shut their faces now? Probably not, but at least we know for a fact that they are stuffed full of excrement. As if there was ever any doubt.

Not only is it now the biggest, but it's also the fastest... which is important for our purposes

"Microsoft Azure was 56% faster than AWS S3 when it came to writing data into its cloud, and 39% faster when reading data."

http://www.networkworld.com...

P0werVR1117d ago

Very true, and why I chose Xbox One for these very reasons.

It's ridiculous to downplay Azure, because if anything the potential of Azure is just beyond most peoples comprehension because it's so new.

So when it comes down to it, Gaikai has nothing on Azure by a moon shot.

walkincarpet1117d ago

but don't you enjoy the comedy? The Sony fan boys will go into every level of detail why the PS4 will be more powerful than X1 with all these crazy numbers they don't understand; yet when they compare the clouds they skip all the details and just claim they are similar. They do the exact same thing with Kinect and Eye. Do yourself a favor and consider their nonsense free entertainment while you look forward to a truer next gen experience.

malokevi1117d ago

Way ahead of you, walkin. I consider this place more of a zoo than a news site. Look at the silly monkeys!

Now if only I could get my hands on some cotton candy...

LucasEVille1116d ago

I felt a great disturbance in the force, like a million Sony fanboys cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

The day (2-3 years from now) that cloud finally shows the capability of xbox beyond ps4. Because MS can afford to throw limitless money at this while Sony sell buildings to stay afloat.

To me I believe Sony's delay in providing cloud services is so they can spend their initial income from the PS4 on playing catch up. But they cannot play catch up with a beast like MS.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1116d ago
nukeitall1117d ago

MS and maybe Amazon and Google is the only one that can have that kind of infrastructure available. This means dedicated server on every game and what enables Titanfall to be developed. Power of the cloud!

"“I claim there really are almost no companies in the world, just a handful, that are really investing in scaled public cloud infrastructure,” said Ballmer. “We(Microsoft] have something over a million servers in our data center infrastructure. Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller. You get Yahoo! and Facebook, and then everybody else is 100,000 units probably or less. So the number of companies that really understand the network topology, the data center construction, the server requirements to build this public cloud infrastructure is very, very small.”

Source is from the same site: http://www.datacenterknowle...

ShwankyShpanky1117d ago

So if "the cloud" is Xbone special sauce, how does Titanfall work on the 360?

malokevi1117d ago

Have you seen it working on the 360? Have you considered that, like Respawn has stated, that it's a significantly scaled down version of the game that tries to provide the same basic gameplay experience? That it's being handled by another studio entirely?

No, of course you didn't consider any of that. You just assume that they are the same game, running the same way. Because, you know, you have absolutely no underlying bias, or pre-conceived negativity. Just an impartial observer making innocent suggestions, EH, SHWANK?

nukeitall1117d ago

@ShwankyShpanky:

What malokevi said, but also I said the cloud enables the Titanfall to be developed, not Xbox One. MS cloud also powers Xbox 360 and PC in addition to Xbox One.

Undoubtedly as Titanfall devs themselves has said, the Xbox One will have more niceties than even the PC version, let alone Xbox 360 version or any other platform out there if it ever comes.

"TitanFall ‘couldn’t be made’ without Xbox Cloud, Xbox One version better than PC version"

http://gimmegimmegames.com/...

“We[Titanfall dev] won’t get all the nice-ities on PCs that you get on Xbox One. There will be some re-engineering things.”

ShwankyShpanky1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

Here's what I've seen:

Cloud makes Titanfall awesome!
Cloud makes Xbone awesome!
(but Titanfall will be on 360 and PC)

I don't assume they're the same game. But the facts lead to one of two conclusions:
1) The cloud's impact on the Xbone is overstated.
2) Titanfall on 360 will be crap.

Either the Cloud is awesome-sauce or it isn't. Either the Cloud is an amazing resource only possible with the Xbone, or it's just marketing-speak for "remote servers."

And yes... I am biased against spinmeister hucksters that feed me disinfo and treat me like I'm stupid because I don't buy into their "vision" or whatnot. My "negativity" is not "pre-conceived," it is a result of MS's policies, philosophies, and actions. Stop acting like folks just woke up one day, saw an article in the news and said "My-Kro-Soft? Never heard of them, but they're making a console that competes with Sony SO I HATE THEM!!1!!" I never had a PS1, didn't get a PS2 until it was well into the slim models (for business trips), and I only bought like three games for it. Didn't get a PS3 until late 2007 when it was $399, and that was mainly because it had Unreal Tournament.

@Nuke: Actually, the pertinent quote would be: "You couldn’t make this game without having that kind of dedicated server support." So again... "the Cloud" is just remote servers.

BTW... the "update" to that article (which also directly contradicts your claim that "MS cloud also powers Xbox 360 and PC in addition to Xbox One):"

UPDATE: This isn’t a confirmation of the PC version being “inferior” or “lesser” necessarily but Respawn is outright admitting it will have less “nice-ities”, whatever that means. Take that for what you will. Now we just have to bother Respawn to find out what their definition of “nice” stuff in games are. At face value it sounds like they’re saying the Xbox One version will be better due to these “nice-ities” though without knowing what they are it is hard to say.

Do they mean substantial stuff like better visuals, or something more minor? Dedicated servers or something else? Hopefully something minor. Depending on what these “nice-ities” are there may not be much difference between versions or there could be a substantial difference. Respawn did go out of their way to say that they aren’t going to be using the Xbox cloud servers on the PC version, so maybe they will set up cloud servers for the PC version.

This “can’t be made without cloud” statement that Respawn is using is an odd one because if the PC/360 versions don’t use the cloud then what is so special about it? What we need to know is what these “nice” features are that are only enabled by the cloud and whether Respawn actually plans to use cloud computing on the PC version too. It doesn’t sound like they will right now but that could always change.

malokevi1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

Oh my god, did you need to use all those words to repeat your empty, thoughtless train of thought?

"This isn’t a confirmation of the PC version being “inferior” or “lesser” necessarily but Respawn is outright admitting it will have less “nice-ities”, whatever that means. Take that for what you will. Now we just have to bother Respawn to find out what their definition of “nice” stuff in games are. At face value it sounds like they’re saying the Xbox One version will be better due to these “nice-ities” though without knowing what they are it is hard to say. "

uhhhhhhh.... wtf are you talking about? "niceties" are whatever they want them to be. Could be visual, could be physics, AI, could be controller, smartglass... who knows.

You typing out massive paragraphs that say nothing doesn't do anything for anybody.

Bottom of the line: Xbox One version will be the better version, regardless of how you want to try and spin the word "niceties". Probably not significantly nicer than the PC version, but certainly a lot nicer than the X360 version. Thats just... obvious.

The PC version wont use Thunderhead, but you can bet your bottom dollar it will use Azure, as will the Xbox360 version, I imagine.

Who cares specifically what the cloud does or does not do in this instance? And even if you care so much, you aren't going to know until the game is released or Respawn decides to meet the question head on.

Fact is, the cloud is there, it's massive, it's fast, and it's at the disposal of every developer to leverage however they see fit. Beyond that, I'm not sure why you feel the need to ramble on? Talking around it wont make it go away, if that's what your after.

nukeitall1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

@ShwankyShpanky:

First of all, you should really provide sources to things you say. I have not seen any mention of PC version not using MS cloud. That said, there is no reason that cloud isn't available elsewhere.

The important thing to note here are:

a) cloud servers can be had elsewhere. However, how close they are to you matter i.e a person living in New York would likely have far better online experience if the server is in Philadelphia than in Tokyo. That is why the number of servers, and the spread of the warehouses matter.

That means not all clouds are equivalent.

b) cloud can be used to compute physics, AI and even light. For physics and AI, Titanfall has been confirmed to use the cloud:

http://venturebeat.com/2013...

Although, Titanfall has not been confirmed to use cloud based light rendering, but nvidia has demonstrated it is possible:

http://www.tomshardware.com...

c) a downgraded game is potentially released on Xbox 360 and PC. Even when games that aren't on parity, are often said as such, so saying"Niceties" is a polite way of avoiding alienating potential customers on other platform.

d) dedicated server is such a huge leap in experience that I will buy that version for any multiplayer game. There is nothing more furiating that encountering cheaters and lag.

Xbox One is where most of the cloud stuff is happening and hence my choice first over almost anything.

"This “can’t be made without cloud” statement that Respawn is using is an odd one because if the PC/360 versions don’t use the cloud then what is so special about it?"

Source of where Respawn said PC / 360 version doesn't use cloud?

In fact, give me sources in general as you claim a lot about what Respawn said, but as an excited fan for Titanfall and avid news follower, I have not read anything backing most of what you claim.

ShwankyShpanky1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

@Malokevi: The fact that you think that I "typed out massive paragraphs" instead of just copy/pasting the exact wording straight from Nuke's gimmegimmegames link is an adorable indication of your level of denial.

"Who cares specifically what the cloud does or does not do in this instance?"

Um... anyone who's interested in next gen consoles should care what the cloud does/can or doesn't/can't do, especially Xbone fans, since it's being hyped as such an important selling point.

@Nuke: "First of all, you should really provide sources to things you say."

It's YOUR SOURCE: http://gimmegimmegames.com/...

nukeitall1116d ago (Edited 1116d ago )

@ShwankyShpanky:

"It's YOUR SOURCE: http://gimmegimmegames.com/...

My apologies, I misread your original comment slightly and interpreted "Xbox One cloud" as "MS cloud".

I thought it would be weird if Respawn didn't use MS cloud for Titanfall even on PC. Respawn is just saying PC version isn't using the same servers as Xbox One. That makes sense, because they are two different plaform with likely very different feature support, anti-cheating mechanism and no cross play.

However, they are likely using MS Azure and most likely even uses the same server and software technology as the Xbox One.

To what degree PC is able to match Xbox One version, I do not know.

I'm very excited to enter the cloud era for gaming! ...that is where it matters, not in that streaming [email protected] that was really bad with OnLive/Gakai.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1116d ago
P0werVR1117d ago (Edited 1117d ago )

Regional Data Centers and pot shot containers as filler for certain businesses or areas.

If this is not a testament to how grounded Microsoft is with their approach for next gen, i don't know what is.

Last time I heard it was nearly $10 billion. Now it's $15 billion.

EDIT:

Also, that near $10 billion was only for R&D....CRAZY MONEY!

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1117d ago TrollingShowReplies(4)
N4G851117d ago

Well blow is only kidding himself if he really thought Microsoft wasn't going 300k dedicated servers or more

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1116d ago
DiRtY1117d ago OffTopicShow
urwifeminder1117d ago

Wow that's rather impressive will use some electricity though I wonder if many of these centres have solar and other forms of power back up.

Fireseed1117d ago

I would hope they use some alternative energy sources, since datacenters require a pretty consistent level of electricity it'd be easier for them to calculate out what they need.

urwifeminder1117d ago

Yeah I seen some show about how much power and heat they use and produce some are coming up with clever ways of using waste heat and some are putting power back into the grid as they are self sufficient.

ShwankyShpanky1117d ago

Of course they have back-up power. It probably comes with the word "Caterpillar" or "Cummins" written on the side. I *seriously* doubt they use solar back-up. It may supplement their grid, but it would be ridiculous to rely on it exclusively.

BallsEye1117d ago

Powered by sea ocean waves maybe :P? Google does that.

Bryan5741117d ago TrollingShow
n4rc1117d ago

Maybe the "1 million servers" will stop all the denial about 300k available to xbl

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