Microsoft Azure Space offers cloud connectivity via satellite in remote areas

Microsoft provided an update to the Azure Space platform, which provides cloud hosting services in remote areas. The program now offers a preview of Azure Orbital Cloud Access and confirms the general availability of Azure Orbital Ground Station.

Through Azure Orbital Cloud Access, Microsoft ensures access to the Microsoft cloud through satellite Internet service providers. The platform will essentially relay connections from the Azure cloud to data terminals on Earth. Additionally, Microsoft confirmed the general availability of Azure Orbital Ground Station, a fully managed ground station service.

Microsoft officially announced the new products during World Satellite Business Week.

"First, we are committed to democratizing the possibilities of space by unlocking connectivity and data to the Microsoft cloud. Second, we can also help our customers and partners in space by using the flexible, scalable computing power in Azure Digital transformation in industry.

Microsoft's Azure Orbital Cloud Access service is now in private preview. That means consumer-facing companies and end users aren't ready to use it yet. Microsoft is making the platform available to U.S. government agencies. The company hopes to have access to cloud services in areas where connectivity options are scarce or where failover functionality is critical.

Azure Orbital Cloud Access essentially carries SpaceX satellite connections and works with Azure edge devices. The company can "prioritize and serve traffic across fiber, cellular, and satellite networks, while also natively integrating with Juniper's SD-WAN technology."

Azure Orbital Ground Station essentially provides a ground station-as-a-service option for satellite operators. Although the service is now generally available, satellite operators such as Pixxel, Muon Space and Loft Orbital should benefit from it in the near future.

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