21Vianet’s China Data Center to Power Office 365

Beijing.

One of the largest data centers in China will also apparently house Microsoft’s cloud services, including Office 365.

21Vianet Group, which claims to be the largest carrier-neutral Internet data center in China, has said it will build a new data center in Beijing; Microsoft confirmed that it will be a part of that build-out. Their partnership started last November, when 21Vianet and Microsoft announced an agreement to bring Office 365 to China. As part of the deal to provide that service, 21Vianet also announced it would operate an Internet data center in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai.

“We are excited to announce the addition of this mega data center in Beijing, China,” Josh Chen, 21Vianet’s co-founder and chief executive, wrote in a statement. “In addition, we will also utilize this data center to power Microsoft’s premier commercial cloud services.”

For customers in China who prefer to use services operated and delivered directly by Microsoft, Microsoft will provide Office 365 services that rely on its data centers in other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The new data center, which will be built in two phases contingent on market demand, will be one of the largest data centers in China as measured by cabinet capacity, 21ViaNet claimed. It will occupy approximately 42,000 square meters (approximately 452,000 square feet) once fully completed. The first phase of build-out, which the company expects to be fully operational by the end of 2013, will be capable of hosting more than 3,000 cabinets; at full capacity, the data center will host a total of over 5,000 cabinets. The data center will be wholly operated and owned by 21Vianet.

Unlike Google, which maintains a public list of its data centers, Microsoft has been somewhat quiet about where its data centers are operated. In 2010, ZDnet obtained a leaked slide revealing a Microsoft data center in Singapore with backup in Hong Kong, complementing a pair of mirrored sites in Dublin, Ireland, and Amsterdam. The slide claimed that the mirrored arrangement also held true for sites in Virginia and Washington, the latter near Microsoft’s headquarters.

To date, however, the only public list of Microsoft data centers that appears to be publicly available is on the Microsoft Global Foundation Services Website, which confirms the locations found on the ZDnet slide: Quincy, Washington; San Antonio, Texas; and Chicago, Illinois, plus the overseas regions. (We also know that Microsoft owns a data center in Virginia, where it has committed close to $1 billion.)

“In order to maintain security controls necessary to prevent unauthorized access, damage, or interference to the company’s cloud services, we do not disclose the exhaustive list of Microsoft data center locations,” a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an email. “However, please feel free to include the following facilities as a representation of our global data center portfolio.” She added the Virginia facility to the list previously posted by Microsoft in addition to Des Moines, Iowa; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and the overseas facilities, including the new facility in China.

 

Image: zhu difeng/Shutterstock.com

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