The conflict in Ukraine and the resultant scarcity of pure gasoline has pressured the European Union (EU) and European international locations to proactively put together for the potential for extra unstable power provides—each this winter and past. Microsoft is working with clients, governments, and different stakeholders all through the area to convey readability, continuity, and compliance within the face of potential energy-saving methods on the native and nationwide stage. In solidarity with Europe, the place even important companies are prone to be requested to seek out power financial savings, we have now validated plans and contingencies in place to responsibly scale back power use in our operations throughout Europe, and we are going to achieve this in a manner that minimizes danger to buyer workloads operating within the Microsoft Cloud.

We wish to share a few of the contingencies and mitigations that our groups have put in place to responsibly function our cloud companies.

Supporting grid stability by responsibly managing our power consumption

The facility that’s consumed by Microsoft from the utilities is primarily used to energy our community and servers, cooling programs, and different datacenter operations. We’ve got contingency plans to contribute to power grid stability, whereas working to make sure minimal disruption to our clients and their workloads, together with:

  1. The dimensions and distribution of the Microsoft datacenters offers us the flexibility to reposition non-regional platform as a service (PaaS) companies, inner infrastructure, and plenty of of our inner non-customer analysis and growth (R&D) workloads to different close by areas, whereas nonetheless assembly our knowledge residency and EU Knowledge Boundary commitments.
  2. Actively working with native governments and huge organizations to carefully monitor and reply to energy consumption to make sure grid stability and minimal disruption to our clients’ vital workloads. We’re working with native utility suppliers to make sure our programs are prepared for a variety of circumstances.
  3. Our datacenter areas are deliberate and constructed to face up to grid emergencies. When wanted, we rapidly transition to backup energy sources to scale back impression on the grid with out impacting buyer workloads.

Resilient infrastructure funding

Microsoft is chargeable for offering our clients with a resilient basis within the Microsoft Cloud—in how it’s designed, operated, and monitored to make sure availability. We make appreciable investments within the platform itself—bodily issues like our datacenters, in addition to software program issues like our deployment and upkeep processes.

We attempt to offer our cloud-using clients with “five-nines” of service availability, that means that the datacenter is operational 99.999 p.c of the time. Nevertheless, realizing that service interruptions and failures occur for a myriad of causes, we construct programs designed with failure in thoughts.

We’ve got Azure Availability Zones (AZs) in each nation during which we function datacenter areas. AZ’s are comprised of a minimal of three zone places, every with unbiased energy, cooling and networking, permitting clients to unfold their infrastructure and purposes throughout discrete and dispersed datacenters for added resiliency and availability.

Battery backup and backup turbines are a further resiliency functionality we implement and are utilized throughout energy grid outages and different service interruptions so we will meet service ranges and operational reliability. We’ve got contracted entry to extra gas provides to take care of generator operations, and we additionally maintain vital spares to take care of generator well being. We’re prepared to make use of backup turbines throughout Europe, when crucial, to maintain our companies operating in case of a severe grid emergency. 

Throughout our world infrastructure, it’s common for us to work with a heightened operational consciousness, attributable to exterior elements. As an illustration, extreme winter climate occasions in Texas in 2021 induced substantial stress on the Texas power grid. Microsoft was in a position to take away its San Antonio datacenter from utilizing grid energy. Though Microsoft’s onsite substations have been designed with redundancy, we have been in a position to rapidly transition to our tertiary redundant programs—turbines. These programs stored the datacenters operating, with zero impression to our cloud clients, whereas the utility grid may guarantee residential properties stayed heat. Throughout this occasion, we maintained one hundred pc uptime for our clients, whereas eradicating our workloads from the grid.

Resiliency suggestions for cloud architectures

This can be a difficult time for organizations monitoring the rising power issues in Europe. We’re offering necessary infrastructure for the communities the place we function, and our clients are relying on us to present dependable cloud companies to run their vital workloads. We acknowledge the significance of continuity of service for our clients, together with these offering important companies: well being care suppliers, police and emergency responders, monetary establishments, producers of vital provides, grocery shops and well being companies. Organizations questioning what extra they’ll do to enhance the reliability of their purposes, or questioning how they’ll scale back their very own power consumption, can take into account the next:

  1. Prospects who’ve availed themselves of excessive availability instruments, together with geo-redundancy, ought to be unaffected by impacts to a single datacenter area. For software program as a service (SaaS) companies like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Energy Platform, the enterprise continuity and resiliency are managed by Microsoft. For Microsoft Azure, clients ought to at all times take into account designing their Azure workloads with excessive availability in thoughts.

    We at all times encourage clients to have a Enterprise Continuity and Catastrophe Restoration (BCDR) plan in place as a part of the Microsoft Nicely-Architected Framework, which you’ll be able to learn extra about. Prospects who wish to proactively migrate their Azure sources from one area to a different can achieve this at any time. Learn the way.

  2. On-premises clients can scale back their very own power consumption by shifting their purposes, workloads, and databases to the cloud. The Microsoft Cloud might be as much as 93 p.c extra power environment friendly than conventional enterprise datacenters, relying on the precise comparability being made. Uncover extra right here. Begin your sustainability journey right now.
  3. Power use in our datacenters is pushed by buyer use. Prospects can play a component in decreasing power consumption by following inexperienced software program growth pointers, together with shutting down unused server situations, and sustainable software design. Additional info out there right here.

We proceed to enhance the power effectivity of our datacenters, in our ongoing dedication to make our world infrastructure extra sustainable and environment friendly. As international locations and power suppliers take into account choices to scale back their consumption of electrical energy within the occasion of an power capability scarcity, we’re working with grid operators on this evolving state of affairs. With the size, experience, and partnerships that we function, we’re assured that our danger mitigation actions will offset any potential disruption to our clients operating their vital workloads within the cloud.

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