We have something over a million servers in our datacenter infrastructure. Google is bigger than we are. Amazon is a little bit smaller. You get Yahoo! and Facebook, and then everybody else is 100,000 units probably or less. So the number of companies that really understand the network topology, the datacenter construction, the server requirements to build this public cloud infrastructure is very, very small, very small. And the number of companies that are at the same time seriously investing in the private cloud, which is not going away, and in these hybrid clouds is really just one and that's us. We are building in a compatible way private cloud infrastructure based on Windows Server, and public cloud infrastructure based on Windows Azure, and we will talk to you about that today
Man... that is one unflattering pic of Ballmer...
I like to think that's his Conquer the World face. Either that, or his "Oh God, all-you-can-eat Taco Bell = BAD IDEA" face.
Haha yeah they are DEFINITELY including Virtual Servers. I find it very hard to believe that maybe a half dozen companies (most already listed) can afford to run 100,000+ physical servers around the world. The amount of money that would eat up running/repairing/replacing each year would be insane unless you were making use 100% of the time from all servers.
These days you can run a half dozen virtual servers on a 1U rack and dozens in a 4U. When Microsoft claimed X-Box Live for the 360 had 15,000 servers I about laughed. Unless those are all Pentium III's.
I think MS always gives numbers in relation to virtual servers, as a lot of the servers are just instances in colo's. I'd be very surprised to find that their 10,000 Linux servers that act as the Skype supernodes are on separate hardware.
So, in the end... the number means very little in and of itself - just as Joel stated.
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
The list suggests a total of maybe 8-12 companies worldwide but I'm not surprised that there are companies that do. We're talking about an enormous number of servers, yes, but we're also talking about companies that earn tens of billions of dollars a year in profits.
You say 15,000 servers at Xbox 360 launch is laughable, but I think you've forgotten what the market looked like in 2005. Dual-core chips had only just begun to ship, which means the overwhelming majority of servers would have been single-core P3/P4. Virtualization was in its infancy. MS probably *did* have some P3 hardware still in deployment back then.
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