Steve Ballmer Says Microsoft has Over 1 Million Servers - What Does that Really Mean?

James Hamilton in Counting Servers is Hard has an awesome breakdown of what one million plus servers really means in terms of resource usage. The summary from his calculations are eye popping:

  • Facilities: 15 to 30 large datacenters
  • Capital expense: $4.25 Billion
  • Total power: 300MW
  • Power Consumption: 2.6TWh annually

The power consumption is about the same as used by Nicaragua and the capital cost is about a third of what Americans spent on video games in 2012. Now that's web scale.