Microsoft has apparently started plans for a bug data center in Siberia. Along with several other data centers recently completed and the giant Northlake, Illinois center now under construction, Microsoft is scrambling to keep up with Google data center build up. The Microsoft build is to support the Microsoft Live product line.
The particular attraction of Siberia, along with low prices likely, is literally cold air. Cooling is very significant cost in these data centers and cold winter air makes for much cheaper cooling than A/C. Low average temps were also a big draw for the Northlake data center, reportedly to be the world’s largest data center when it is completed.
If the big requirements for a data center are cold air, abundant electric power and good internet connectivity, you’d think parts of Canada would be a on that list. So far I don’t know of any though.
To get an idea of the cost savings with this data center model, the Northlake center will have well over 10,000 servers but employ only about 35 to 50 people.