Microsoft seeks robotics expert to transform datacenter operations

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Microsoft is actively recruiting a Hardware Automation Team Manager with a strong background in robotics to work on the automation of datacenter operations, just weeks after blaming an outage at its Australia facility on having insufficient staff available.

The new Hardware Automation Team Manager role will play a pivotal role in “shaping the future of datacenter operations,” according to the job posting. The ideal candidate will have three or more years professional hands-on experience working on “automation and robotics for hardware equipment,” in addition to the usual technical qualifications, experience in engineering or technical program management and in managing a team.

Microsoft’s interest in greater datacenter automation may be related to an incident at the end of August in its antipodean site that took out its Australia East Azure cloud region for a while. That outage was ultimately caused by problems with the power supply to the bit barn, but key infrastructure such as chiller units and storage at the site failed to come back online automatically, and Microsoft was forced to admit that it had too few people on site on the night of the outage.

Microsoft isn’t the only company developing robotic automation for datacenter operations. As The Register has reported, attendees at the Open Compute Summit this week can see a prototype robotic server cart that is designed to move datacenter racks from location to location while they are still full of hardware.

In addition to datacenter automation, Microsoft is also looking to fill more exotic job roles. As reported last month, the company is seeking a “Principal Program Manager Nuclear Technology” to help it implement a strategy to power datacenters using small nuclear reactors.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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