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I'm trying to come up with some data on how much computing power the current cloud platforms represent. (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Google App Engine. Others?)

Stuff like how many physical/virtual machines, storage space. How many datacentres are the big players setting up/running already. Any metrics would be fine.

(Also, if you know of any pictures of the server-containers or related, please link to them.)

Quantifying and visualizing it will help me better explain what the cloud is all about.

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closed as not a real question by sysadmin1138 Jan 9 '12 at 21:46

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Any answer you get will either be a total guess, or confidential, proprietary information. – womble Jul 9 '09 at 10:05
Then I'm hoping for confidential information... ;-) – Arjan Einbu Jul 9 '09 at 10:40
Well, they say, three's a cloud... – gbarry Oct 5 '09 at 3:42

Here's a good link for Google's data center information: (Great video)

Here's a video for Sun Systems 'Cloud Datacenter':
Some more info:

You also might want to give this a read:


Cloud computing makes diverse applications available anywhere, anytime. It differs from grid computing because whereas a grid consists of a large number of connected compute resources dedicated to a single function, a cloud infrastructure is a dynamic compute resource which delivers a hugely diverse set of applications and functionality. IBM says that means building data centers at a massive scale. Big is better and cheaper. Not so says Microsoft in a white paper, big mega scale data centers bring big problems in everything from construction cost to power. While the argument progresses the infrastructure, hardware and software suppliers are already pushing frameworks, management, monitoring and provisioning products and services into cloud data centers. Applications that are hosted in the cloud require massively scalable data centers to be able to deliver the always-on availability and performance required. It means the compute resources of these data centers must operate at huge scales if the cost benefi ts to the user are to be realised. This is the word according to IBM and its paper "From Cloud Computing to the New Enterprise Data Center." That IBM is building cloud data centers across the world from North Carolina to Shanghai is well publicised. There have been several big investment announcements already in 2008 each involving hundreds of millions of dollars. IBM is also bringing medium scale data centers to support cloud applications. What we know for now is that it is primarily opting for the large scale mega data centers in which infrastructure will be shared.

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HERE is some pictures of HP's POD containerised data centres.

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The truth is that all of the big players would rather keep the very intimate details close to their chest.

However over the past year inparticular some have released snippets of information.

The blogs Datacentre Knowledge and High Scalability are often a good sources of such.

For example:

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Have you seen the google paper on The Datacentre as a Computer?

The paper coins the term Warehouse Scale Computers (WSC's)

It's void of exact numbers of datacentres that google have, but the 'case study' gives you some insight into the costs involved in running a datacentre & has a tonne of metrics

For pictures of shipping container datacentre's checkout Sun's Modular Datacentre

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Thanks for the inputs!

I found some more info:

Windows Azure wil be at least 5 datacenters. (US east coast and US west coast are up and running. Dublin was finished a couple of weeks ago. There is one being built in Chicago, and there is one promised somewhere in Asia)

I found an article describing the Chicago datacenter, which is being built with more than 200 * HP POD or similar containers. Each container will be configured with 2,500 servers. (Thats > 400,000 servers with at least dual core CPUs)

Each azure role will have a seperate VM, running on a dedicated core. So that would allow for >800,000 Azure role in one datacenter. If the datacenters are similar in size, that totals 2,000,000 servers running at least 4,000,000 roles.

I've put together these numbers from information found on the web or heard in presentations. They might not be accurate, but should provide the big picture.

PS: I'm still interested in information about the other players, or more accurate info on Azure...

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