Microsoft Logo at IgniteSource: Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Microsoft announced Azure Space today.
  • Azure Space is a platform and ecosystem that aims to address needs within the space industry.
  • Microsoft also announced a partnership with SpaceX in relation to Starlink.

Microsoft launched Azure Space today, which is a platform and ecosystem that aims to address the needs within the space industry. The aim of Azure Space is to connect satellites and services from the public and private sectors, including the agriculture, energy, and telecommunications industries, as well as the government.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft shared the news of its partnership with SpaceX in relation to Starlink. That partnership and the Starlink program will help deliver high-speed, low latency satellite broadband to areas of the world that currently lack broadband access or have poor coverage.

"By partnering with leaders in the space community, we will extend the utility of our Azure capabilities with worldwide satellite connectivity, unblock cloud computing in more scenarios and empower our partners and customers to achieve more," said Tom Keane, corporate vice president for Microsoft Azure Global in a new blog post (via GeekWire).

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The Azure Space cloud computing platform also includes the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC). The MDC allows organizations to deploy a complete datacenter to remote locations, such as areas where power and infrastructure are unreliable. It's a transportable datacenter with networking capabilities built in.

Azure Space also builds on the Azure Orbital partnership with SES to extend connectivity between cloud edge devices and cloud datacenter regions.

"Our approach is to supply a multi-orbit, multi-band, multi-vendor, cloud-enabled capability to bring comprehensive satellite connectivity solutions to meet the needs of our customers," explains Keane. He later adds that "[Microsoft's] partnership approach to satellite communication solutions helps us bring these capabilities to customers faster to help solve their mission-critical space needs."

Microsoft has a network that includes over 160,000 miles of subsea, terrestrial, and metro optical fiber cables. That network can reach billions of people on Earth, but it struggles to reach certain areas. Azure Space will help Microsoft and other companies connect the rest of the world, allowing organizations and people in these areas to process larger amounts of data.

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