Microsoft Sues Long-Time Partner over Faulty Data Center Roof

The roofing system exposed tens of thousands of servers

Microsoft has recently filed a lawsuit against Callison Architecture over a faulty roofing system that put tens of thousands of data servers at risk.

Callison Architecture, a long-time Microsoft partner based in Seattle, developed the company’s data center located in the Central Washington town of Quincy.

According to the lawsuit, Callison has built the roof of the facility without a vapor barrier, while Microsoft claimed that such a system would actually expose its data servers to water leaks, mold and condensation.

The Redmond-based technology titan has decided to replace the roof all by itself, with final costs reaching a stunning $6 million (€4.6 million).

“The result of Callison’s design choice was a mechanically fastened roof, designed to not include an air or vapor retarder, which was ineffective at keeping a critical environment free of condensation, mold and water leaks,” Microsoft explained in the lawsuit according to BizJournals.

Callison has a long history with Microsoft, as the two companies have partnered in 1985 to plan and design office buildings in both the United States and Europe. Callison has even created a dedicated page on its corporate website to praise this collaboration, revealing that its 39 Microsoft buildings are now covering 293 acres.

“Although our approach and delivery has evolved over the years, we have been consistently successful in achieving Microsoft’s goals: reflecting their understated corporate image, providing flexibility for growth, supporting employee productivity and preserving the natural beauty of their campus,” Callison explains.

Microsoft’s data center in Quincy opened its doors in 2006 and houses servers designed for email, applications and some other services developed by the Redmond-based technology companies.

It’s not the only data center in the region, as both Yahoo and Dell have also built their very own facilities, trying to make the most of the city’s low pricing for electricity.

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