Datacenter Analytics


The Challenge

Where should our next data center be located? How can I track the health of my servers? Microsoft needed GIS support in finding the optimal location for its cloud-hosting data centers around the world.   

Our Insight

Microsoft Azure is a cloud solution for hosting applications and storing data. The Azure service depends on a giant network of servers and data centers located across the globe. As Microsoft continued to expand its Azure offerings, they needed to find new data center locations to keep in pace with an expansion of capabilities and capacity.  

Our Approach

First, we built a dataset representing the current locations of the Azure network that would be the foundation for all future applications and decisions. Next, we built an algorithm to help identify optimal data center locations. Using proximity to water and infrastructure, as well as crime and corruption, and a host of other concerns, as criteria for optimal spots, the team at Microsoft was able to make strong data-based judgments.


  • Data
  • ESRI
  • Geodatabase

The Results

With a new data-fabric in place, we have also begun to explore how to monitor the health of data centers and individual servers. The team at Microsoft would like the ability to visualize down to the square foot anywhere in the world where a problem server is and send a team to investigate.