Microsoft has launched a portable, modular data center (opens in new tab) that should enable individuals to access cloud computing services from almost anywhere in the world.
The Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) can augment a user’s technical capabilities, ensuring that critical infrastructure remains online by providing a rugged, shielded, but transportable unit.
By partnering with satellite providers, Microsoft promises to provide a high level of connectivity to field-deployed MDC units. In the event of a network disruption, traffic will automatically be moved to a backup satellite connection so essential Azure service can continue.
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“We designed the MDC for customers who need cloud computing capabilities in hybrid or challenging environments, including remote areas,” explained Bill Karagounis (opens in new tab), General Manager of Azure Global Industry Sovereign Solutions. “This announcement is complemented by our Azure Space offerings and partnerships that can extend satellite connectivity anywhere in the world. Scenarios range from mobile command centers, humanitarian assistance, military mission needs, mineral exploration, and other use cases requiring high intensity, secure computing on Azure.”
Out of this world
Alongside the MDC announcement, Microsoft also confirmed the launch of Azure Space, an ecosystem of satellite providers that will create exciting new networking capabilities. One such opportunity is already in place – a partnership with SpaceX Starlink that will provide low-latency broadband for MDC units.
Evidently, Microsoft is keen to bring its services to the most challenging environments. The combination of its MDC units and Azure Space will provide more robust connectivity to some of the most remote places on earth.
More impressively, Microsoft is also planning to deliver support to the space community. The Azure Orbital Emulator, for example, enables satellite developers to test AI algorithms in a simulated space setting before a satellite is launched. It is already being used by Azure Government customers.
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Via The Verge (opens in new tab)