Microsoft's new data-centres are comprised of entire sealed shipping containers that are slotted into racks and left to run until a critical mass of their processor units have failed, then are swapped out.
Starting with a Chicago-area facility due to open later this year, Microsoft will use an approach in which servers arrive at the data center in a sealed container, already networked together and ready to go. The container itself is then hooked up to power, networking, and air conditioning.
"The trucks back 'em in, rack 'em, and stack 'em," Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie told CNET News. And the containers remain sealed, Ozzie said. Once a certain number of servers in the container have failed, it will be pulled out and sent back to the manufacturer and a new container loaded in.
(via Beyond the Beyond)