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Two years ago, we announced a partnership with a number of private and public sector partners to build the first zero-carbon datacenter, called a Data Plant—a fuel cell-powered datacenter that simplifies the power distribution infrastructure by bringing together the power plant with the datacenter to radically improve efficiency. We are excited to announce that yesterday, the new Data Plant officially opened with a “cable-cutting” ceremony at the water treatment facility that will be used to power the Data Plant.
Nearly 70 percent of all electricity in the United States goes toward building operations—heating and cooling systems, lighting, ventilation and plug loads—and over 80 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the world come from buildings. Researchers in the “living lab” at Carnegie Mellon’s Intelligent Workplace are working to determine how they can use data to address some of these problems. They’re exploring how to give people who work in buildings a comfortable environment while using the least possible energy, how to make people accountable for their own energy footprints, and how technology can assist in that journey.
In the New York Times best-selling book Ready Player One, the protagonist powers his laptop by bicycle. While Microsoft is seeking other alternative energy sources to power the cloud, we are also big proponents of bicycle commuting at our Puget Sound campus, home to 50,000 employees. In fact, the League of American Cyclistshas deemed Microsoft a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business among other recognitions.
At our Redmond campus, Microsoft incorporates many amenities for two-wheeled commuters, including 23 covered and secure parking cages, on-site bicycle shops with subsidized tune-ups and complimentary shower facilities at all worksites. In addition to the bicycle lanes throughout our campus, the network of regional trails in Redmond extend the safe and functional experience for our cyclists. In fact, Redmond is home to the only velodrome in Washington State and proudly calls itself the Bicycle Capital of the Northwest.
What do you get when you move two of the Microsoft Developer Division’s largest developer and IT professional websites from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud? Well, in addition to a major learning exercise that’s invaluable for the migration of other applications, we’ve seen increased resource utilization, energy savings and reduced operational costs.