Put your head in the cloud: Microsoft unveils immersive digital tour for deep dive on datacenters

(Microsoft Image)

As you point and click your way around various aspects of your digital life today, whether youre hosting a virtual work meeting or playing a video game, save some time for a new immersive experience from Microsoft which helps explain how it all works, thanks to the cloud.

The tech giants new virtual datacenter tour is a deep dive on the inner workings and infrastructure of a typical Microsoft datacenter. Viewable on a personal computer or mobile device, the experience walks users through a server room, network room, operations area and innovation room. Along the way there are explainer videos and breakout graphics about the cloud in general, specific technology, sustainability and security.

It makes the cloud real for people and less high-tech and highfalutin, Noelle Walsh, a Microsoft corporate vice president who leads the team that builds and operates the companys cloud infrastructure, said in a story on Microsofts website Tuesday.

Microsoft says it operates more than 200 datacenters to power its Azure cloud services. The companys operating and planned datacenter footprint spans 34 countries around the world all networked together via more than 165,000 miles of subsea, terrestrial and metro optical fiber. There are plans to add datacenters in at least 10 more countries this year, and the company is on pace to build between 50 and 100 new datacenters each year for the foreseeable future, Walsh said.

The virtual tour is a rare chance to see whats inside the typically warehouse-sized, windowless, non-descript buildings surrounded by a fence.

If you were to drive by a datacenter, you probably wouldnt know that that was a datacenter, Walsh said. We generally dont publicize where we are.

(Microsoft Graphic)

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