Microsoft has just launched Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) to ensure the availability of cloud computing capabilities even in remote areas. Fresh off the announcement of Azure Space, a portfolio of services catering the space industry, the Redmond-based giant revealed the MDC for taking cloud computing to “hybrid or challenging environments.”
With MDC, Microsoft is promising customers a low-latency connection that will allows users to migrate their applications to Azure even as they run workloads on-premises. What MDC essentially offers is a mobile, rugged, self-contained datacenter that can be deployed in areas with limited connectivity or disrupted network. The containers are also Radio Frequency shielded and can operate in the absence of a reliable power supply source.
Microsoft announced a partnership with SpaceX Starlink at the launch of Azure Space and the same partnership will also help the company bring MDC to customers. The partnership with Starlink will allow Microsoft to bring high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity to MDCs deployed in the field. The company also stated that it is working with satellite operators to ensure the MDC units have secure connectivity.
Bill Karagounis, the General Manager at Azure Global Industry Sovereign Solutions, explained how the deployed MDCs can achieve the connectivity. He stated that the connectivity ” is achieved through a network high availability module which continuously evaluates network performance. In the event of a network disruption, the network high availability module will move traffic from the impacted network to a backup satellite connection. This resiliency ensures continued delivery of essential hyperscale services through Azure. Alternatively, MDC can use satellite communications as the primary connection where no other network is available.”
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The cloud giant also stated that its MDCs can operate on various levels of connectivity, meaning that MDCs will be functional even when the connection is unstable or there is no connection at all. A feature that is necessary for the segment of market that Microsoft is targeting. This operation on various levels of connectivity will also ensure that cloud users’ processes will no longer be connection-dependent, something that is a major challenge is remote or inaccessible areas. The users will also get the springboard for taking their workloads to Azure API while having the option of running applications on-premise, sovereign, or even public cloud.
The all-weather and condition proof MDC by Microsoft is already in operation in the early-usage phase with defense and private sector organizations. Lastly, the rugged and reliable solution proposed by Microsoft can prove important in sectors where remote conditions are a given, such as mineral exploration, humanitarian assistance, and military application, among others.