May 25, 2024


Satellite tv for pc connectivity to Microsoft Azure may open up the quantity of places for deploying modular information facilities, that are self-sufficient computing services packed inside transport container-like enclosures that may be plopped anyplace an enormous cloud buyer may have computing infrastructure.

That’s based on SES Networks, a accomplice with whom Azure just lately carried out a “stay demonstration” for such a setup. The companions related a modular information middle on the US west coast to one of many massive Azure cloud information facilities on the east coast. The container was related to Azure by way of the cloud supplier’s ExpressRoute service over fiber, with SES-enabled satellite tv for pc connectivity appearing as backup, based on an SES case research reviewed by DCK.

Microsoft on Tuesday introduced an addition to its cloud companies referred to as Azure Modular Datacenters. One other satellite tv for pc accomplice that is a part of the launch is Elon Musk’s SpaceX, whose Starlink low-orbit satellites will even hook up with the modular computing services.

SES, which operates a community of satellites designed to supply content material supply companies, has turn into “Microsoft’s MEO [Medium Earth Orbit] satellite tv for pc accomplice for its new Azure Modular Information Facilities, bringing high-intensity, safe cloud computing on the edge in difficult and distant environments, the place there may be unreliable and even no fiber in any respect,” SES CEO JP Hemingway wrote in a weblog publish slated for launch Tuesday.

A Microsoft spokesperson didn’t reply to a request for extra particulars.

Microsoft introduced preview of Azure Orbital, its cloud companies for satellite tv for pc operators, about one month in the past. The operators can schedule information transfers from their spacecraft to Azure floor stations to get their information onto the Azure community and course of it utilizing all of the Azure cloud companies.

AWS introduced an identical service in 2018. Whereas launching satellites into house has gotten cheaper and simpler than ever, transferring information again to Earth has not. Floor stations are costly to construct and get entry to.

If the cloud platforms clear up the ground-station bottleneck, they’ll profit from being the platforms for storing and processing satellite tv for pc customers’ information.

Modular information facilities are used to rapidly deploy computing capability quickly or deploy it in locations the place it’s tough to construct a conventional brick-and-mortar information middle. They’re used this fashion for army purposes within the subject, for instance, or by vitality corporations in distant energy-extraction places. Some enterprises have deployed modular information facilities merely for overspill compute capability, as expansions of their essential information facilities.

Hyperscalers together with Google and Microsoft have previously used modular information facilities as constructing blocks for his or her core cloud websites. However they’ve moved away from this method, discovering it unsuitable for his or her scaling wants.

Whereas decreasing a transport container onto a concrete pad is simpler than constructing a conventional information middle, it nonetheless must be related to energy, water, and community. Having satellite tv for pc connectivity within the combine addresses a kind of necessities, theoretically increasing the quantity of places modular information facilities will be deployed in.

Within the aforementioned demonstration by SES and Azure, the modular information middle acted as a floor station, that includes two 2.4m antennas. In response to the case research, the demo confirmed that after the fiber connection was severed, SES’s O3b MEO satellite tv for pc hyperlink continued transferring visitors at “fiber-equivalent speeds,” with 700Mbps throughput “on the ahead path, and 300Mbps on the return path – whereas sustaining fiber-like latency of lower than 150ms.”

As a part of the partnership, SES is planning to deploy its O3b gateways at Azure information facilities, “guaranteeing one-hop connectivity from any distant web site or edge compute node to Azure,” Hemingway wrote.


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