Christian Belady is the general manager of Data Center Services for Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services (GFS) group. He is responsible for driving the strategy and delivery of server and facility development worldwide, including research, engineering, construction and operations for Microsoft’s data center portfolio. These data centers provide the foundational cloud infrastructure for more than 200 Microsoft online and cloud services for consumers and businesses worldwide.
Previously, Belady led the GFS research and advanced development team that delivers new technologies for broad-scale adoption in Microsoft’s data centers. He earlier held the position of director of Hardware Architecture in the Extreme Computing Group at Microsoft Research, where he managed the team that explored hardware opportunities related to the future of client-plus cloud computing.
Belady joined Microsoft in 2007 as the Principal Infrastructure Architect for GFS to improve efficiency and cost in the company’s data center infrastructure. In this role, he drove initiatives for sustainability for the company and the infrastructure industry. He is also credited with being one of the key architects for the company’s next-generation modular data centers. Before joining Microsoft, Belady worked as a distinguished technologist for HP, where he was responsible for driving the technology direction of HP's server products and their environments, as well as industry data center initiatives. In addition, his earlier employers include Convex Computers (acquired by HP), Texas Instruments and IBM.
In 2010, SearchData named Belady as one of “5 People Who Changed the Data Center” industry and helped drive innovative thinking and quantitative benchmarking in the field. With more than 100 U.S. patents and many international patents, Belady is an ASME and IMAPS Fellow and a founding member of ASHRAE's TC9.9, which is responsible for developing data center guidelines. He was one of the early architects of the Green Grid organization, for which he served on the board and as treasurer. He is an originator of the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data center, which is now broadly used by the industry. In 2011, he co-published two new metrics with the Green Grid – Water Utilization Effectiveness (WUE) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) – that further enable data center operators to now quickly assess the three important aspects of sustainability in their data centers, compare the results, and determine whether any energy efficiency and/or sustainability improvements need to be made. He has also worked closely with government agencies such as the Department of Energy and European Commission to define efficiency metrics for data centers and servers. As a result of these efforts, Belady recently received the 2013 DatacenterDynamics “Outstanding Contribution to the Industry” Award. He has published several dozen papers, is frequently quoted in the press, and is a featured speaker on data center trends in the industry. Since the late 1990s, Belady’s publications have focused on data centers and the industry’s need for engineering efficient computing environments. He holds engineering degrees from Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Belady attended the UT Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, where he received a master’s degree in international management studies in 1990. He served two years on the board of UT Dallas’ former alumni association, including one year as president. In 2010, he received the UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni award.