Microsoft Azure is now available via satellite.
Microsoft has recently added satellite connectivity for its Azure ExpressRoute service.
In essence, Azure ExpressRoute is an additional communication channel that allows clients to establish a secure connection between their on-premise infrastructure or colocation environment and Azure cloud.
Azure ExpressRoute is primarily targeted at customers looking for a reliable, high-speed and low-latencies connection to Microsoft cloud services. It is also expected to be more secure than typical Internet connections since it doesn’t go over the public Internet and so keeps things private. In some situations, such as, for example, transferring large amounts of data, using the service can even give customers significant cost benefits.
Up until now, most private connections through Azure ExpressRoute have been implemented via landline networks owned by major data center providers.
However, for businesses that operate in remote or isolated locations, obtaining a fast and predictable network service often becomes a real challenge. To help customers to address and solve these issues, Microsoft has recently introduced a satellite connectivity option through a partnership with SES, Intelsat, and Viasat. Using direct connections between the partners’ ground stations and Microsoft’s global network via a dedicated private link, the new solution is meant to bring clients new options and coverage.
In this collaboration, SES is responsible for providing customers with “fiber-like” performance and global coverage via its unique multi-orbit service that spans geostationary and medium Earth orbit satellites.
At the same time, according to Viasat’s officials, their Direct Cloud Connect service will enable customers to optimize their network performance and extend their data center capabilities with scalable cloud-based infrastructure.
Lastly, Intelsat hasn’t yet provided any specifics about its role in the collaboration.
Microsoft expects that this addition to the ExpressRoute partner ecosystem will see a great success among Azure customers representing industries like aviation, oil and gas, and remote manufacturing. For example, aircrafts in the sky or oil rigs in remote locations can only connect to cloud services via satellite.