Ray talks about the Layers Microsoft is investing in:
GCF <-- CIS <-- LIVE <-- YOU
And the best way I've found to do this is to basically step through the architecture of the services platform and the nature of the solutions that'll take advantage of that platform. So at the bottom there, the first and lowest layer of the services platform are something we refer to as our Global Foundation Services. This is a physical layer of our services infrastructure that includes our datacenters, the racks of computers and disks that are inside those datacenters, the network that connects them to the Internet, and the people who build and operate these datacenters and maintain them and monitor the activities that are going on within them.
The datacenters are of massive scale. There's a number of them. They're built with commodity components, and that's how you get the cost down, and they achieve reliability through redundancy, not the fail-safe nature of any given component within the datacenter. Our expansion continues at this layer around the world. Next week we're going to be breaking ground in San Antonio on a fairly big datacenter, and our deployed servers and infrastructure has more than doubled over the course of the past year, and we will keep investing.
The next layer above that is our cloud infrastructure services layer. And this is the most fundamental software level of the services infrastructure. You can think of this as a utility computing fabric upon which all of our online services run. You know, among other services, this fabric has an efficient and isolated virtualized computation layer. It has application frameworks that support a variety of app models that are designed for horizontal scaling. And it has infrastructure that manages the automatic deployment and load balancing and performance optimization of the apps that it's managing running on its infrastructure.
It also supports several types of horizontally scalable storage types like files and database and searchable storage that are needed for different types of apps that you put onto this platform. And of course, you know, another key element is networking services, where to efficiently serve up apps and content to Internet users worldwide in a very low-latency and efficient manner.
The next layer up from there is something that I refer to as the Live platform services layer. And these are services that are designed specifically to serve the needs of apps, of our apps predominately, that target individuals and very small businesses, unmanaged users. These are generally ad-monetized applications, and because of that, there's synergy in sharing data and features among the apps at this level. And so they all share many, many of these services.
These are services like identity services, contact lists -- this is the layer where our social graph of your relationships lives, your presence and rendezvous, communication services. Perhaps most importantly, our advertising platform infrastructure lives at this level.
So whether it's hosting our Live offerings for individuals or our service-based offerings that are more targeted for enterprises, or apps that our partners or customers will provide -- this platform will ultimately be used by and will benefit all of the audiences that we as Microsoft serve, because each audience is undergoing some transformation that's relevant to them, from software-based solutions to software plus services, or services alone.