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Microsoft Will Build Up To 100 New Data Centers Each Year

Microsoft unveiled its bullish plan this week to build 50 to 100 new data centers across the globe each year for the foreseeable future.

Microsoft plans to spend billions building a whopping 50 to 100 new data centers annually with expectations to expand its Microsoft Azure data center presence into 10 new countries by the end of this year.

The public cloud and software giant unveiled its aggressive data center built-out plan during the launch of Microsoft’s new immersive data center virtual tour experience, which provides a free online tour of a simulated Microsoft data center that details the company’s investments in security, sustainability, reliability and innovation such as its successful undersea data center experiment.

Although the Redmond, Wash.-based company didn’t unveil the locations of all its new planned data centers, Microsoft recently announced plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years in Malaysia to build several data center regions. Microsoft is also building new data centers everywhere from Fulton County, Georgia, and San Antonio, Texas, to Israel as it continues to expand its Microsoft Azure cloud offerings across the globe.

[Related: Here Are 5 People Who Could Be VMware’s New CEO]

Microsoft, named in CRN’s 10 Hyperscale Data Center Companies To Watch in 2021, operates a total of more than 200 data centers across 34 counties.

Microsoft is one the largest spenders in the data center market today alongside the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google. The global COVID-19 pandemic spurred a record-breaking third quarter 2020 as data center spending reached $37 billion. AWS, Microsoft and Google collectively now account for more than 50 percent of the world’s largest data centers across the globe, according to data from market research firm Synergy Research Group.

Worldwide spending on public cloud infrastructure is also hitting new heights. Public cloud infrastructure spending reached $13.3 billion in the third quarter of 2020, representing an increase of 13 percent year-over-year, according to IT research firm IDC.

Microsoft corporate vice president, Noelle Walsh, who leads the team that builds and operates the company’s cloud infrastructure, said the company is on pace to build between 50 and 100 new data centers each year for the foreseeable future. Walsh did not specify if the new data center goal included consolidations, renovations to older facilities or partnerships with other companies.

Microsoft led the nation in 2020 in leasing more data center capacity than any other company in the U.S. The tech giant leased 178 megawatts of capacity in Virginia alone in various data centers, as well as leasing in other large U.S. markets including the Bay Area and Phoenix.

Microsoft is currently preparing to begin the massive $10 billion Department of Defense’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract it has been awarded on two occasions, while it also was recently awarded a $21.9 billion contract from the U.S. Army to produce headsets based on its HoloLens 2 mixed reality device.

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