Microsoft Opening Mall-Size Data Center Near Chicago

Microsoft Corp. next week plans to flip the switch to open a 700,000-square-foot data center in Northlake, Ill., less than three weeks after opening a 300,000-square-foot facility in Dublin.

Together, the data centers will house hundreds of thousands of servers that will help support the company's new Bing search engine and other online services, Microsoft said.

The data center in Northlake, which is a suburb of Chicago, is slated to open on July 20. It will house containers that can hold 1,800 to 2,500 servers each, said Arne Josefsberg, Microsoft's general manager of infrastructure services, in a blog post.

The Illinois facility will include more than 50 parking stalls for the shipping containers, which Microsoft said can be wheeled in as needed and installed in hours. The facility's second floor will have server racks.

The Dublin facility, which isn't using containers, opened on July 1.

Josefsberg said both data centers include multiple features that promote energy efficiency. For example, the Dublin facility makes "extensive use of outside air" for cooling, while the containers used in Chicago "will help us realize new advancements in power efficiency," he said.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

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