Microsoft announced Monday that hydrogen fuel cells powered a row of its datacenter servers for 48 consecutive hours, bringing the company one step closer toward its goal of becoming "carbon negative" by 2030. Microsoft is exploring how the clean technology could be used to fuel more aspects of its operations. The tech giant laid out plans in January to "ultimately remove Microsoft's carbon footprint" by 2030. While Microsoft had already eliminated most of its dependence on fossil fuels, it still had a few diesel-powered backup generators at Azure data centers, according to a statement. Diesel is expensive while hydrogen fuel cell costs have plummeted, the statement said, so Microsoft officials decided to test hydrogen fuel cells as a replacement.
Microsoft is gearing up to make System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) available in its cloud. That project, codenamed "Aquila," according to several contacts of mine, should be entering private preview in the relatively near future. SCOM is Microsoft's on-premises solution for infrastructure monitoring for datacenter, public and private cloud products. SCOM is meant to monitor computers, devices, services, and applications in a single console view. From what I hear, Aquila is going to be a fully Microsoft-managed instance of SCOM that can run in Azure, Windows Server Datacenter and edge-computing systems.
A year ago, Microsoft reported that server component shortages had limited how much it could invest in its datacenter business. It looks like those limitations are over, as company officials are predicting that Microsoft will be building 50 to 100 new datacenters each year for the foreseeable future. Microsoft disclosed its latest cloud build-out predictions as part of its launch of a new, immersive datacenter tour experience on April 20. Microsoft currently operates more than 200 datacenters. Its currently operating and planned datacenters are located in 34 countries worldwide, networked with more than 165,000 miles of subsea cable, officials said.
Microsoft Azure is a broad, ever-expanding set of cloud-based computing services that are available to businesses, developers, government agencies, and anyone who wants to build an app or run an enterprise on the internet without having to manage hardware. It has been the fastest-growing business segment for Microsoft in recent years and will probably overtake Windows in terms of revenue within two or three years. Azure is a strong second among cloud providers, well behind Amazon Web Services but well ahead of any other competition. Microsoft announced Azure in 2008. It made its public debut two years later, in February 2010, as Windows Azure and was rebranded as Microsoft Azure in 2014.
Microsoft last week announced a new service to help existing on-premises VMware workloads move to Azure Cloud. VMware, however, has objected to the new service, saying it was developed without collaborating with the company. The cloud infrastructure firm added that Microsoft's new offering is neither certified nor supported by VMware.