Despite the economic downturn, Microsoft intends to ramp up the number of servers running in its datacenters worldwide by 15 times over the next five years.
The growth, outlined in a presentation on Monday at its Professional Developers Conference, is designed to handle increased hosted computing demand from enterprise software running on its new Windows Azure platform , also announced Monday, as well as third-party services Microsoft hopes to attract.
[ For more news from Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, check out InfoWorld's special report. ]
Microsoft expects to boost the number of datacenters it operates by three times, its power usage by 15 times, and the Internet traffic going out of its datacenters by nine-fold, said Benjamin Ravani, general manager of Microsoft's Global Foundation Services, during a technical session.
Ravani said Microsoft operates "tens of thousands of servers" but would not disclose the exact number.
Microsoft had announced similar growth projections earlier this year. But Ravani's reiteration of those comments come a week after Redmond announced plans to tighten its fiscal belt, including cutting $500 million in spending this fiscal year by slowing hiring and cutting travel and marketing expenses.
Despite its belated arrival to so-called cloud computing services, Microsoft appears to be sparing no dime on building out a back-end infrastructure that tops competitors such as Amazon.com , Google, and Salesforce.com.
Microsoft has announced five datacenters in the past 12 months, including in San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, and Des Moines, Iowa. Both its Chicago and Des Moines datacenters will be massive, $500 million facilities that will have many of its servers pre-configured and installed in shipping containers .
Investing in a big way now, Microsoft has argued, will save money later.
Demand for some services is already huge. Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger Monday has more than 450 million unique users in the system, passes more than 8.3 billion messages and performs more than 1 billion Web authentications a day, said Ravani.