Microsoft Launches New Services, Availability Zones, Azure Marketplace

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The stay at home and work from home orders due to COVID-19 have no doubt fueled the growth of cloud computing. The sudden spike in demand has led to Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) taking immediate steps to ensure proper delivery of services. Microsoft has also been taking steps toward increasing its capacity and reach, and has made announcements regarding the same.  

At its ongoing virtual event Ignite 2020, Microsoft addressed these issues and announced additional availability zones in two existing regions i.e., Canada Central and Australia East. This will bring Microsoft’s total number of Availability-Zone-enabled regions to 14.  

Microsoft started rolling out the Azure Availability Zones for data center protection back in March 2018. These Availability zones present inside and Azure region come with a separate power system, network, and cooling to provide a safeguard against data center failures. 

Microsoft also unveiled its Azure Resource Mover to help users manage migration and move multiple Azure resources between regions to meet specific data-residency needs. Available in public preview as of now, this service is aimed at providing a “single pane of glass” solution to customers for data migration. 

Other than new availability zones and Azure Resource Mover, Microsoft also made two more announcements. The first one is Zone to Zone disaster recovery, which will enable VM replication between the zones and inside the same region. The other is Azure Orbital, which gives satellite operators a platform to communicate with their satellites and process data, including the ground stations to receive the signals from them.  

“Microsoft is well-positioned to support customer needs in gathering, transporting, and processing of geospatial data,” Yves Pitsch, principal product manager, Azure Networking, stated. “With our intelligent cloud and edge strategy currently extending over sixty announced cloud regions, advanced analytics, and AI capabilities coupled with one of the fastest and most resilient networks in the world – security and innovation are at the core of everything we do.” 

Additionally, Microsoft also introduced its private Azure Marketplace service at the virtual event. It will be a new feature of the current Microsoft Azure Marketplace and will come with compute, networking, security, AI, and IoT applications. The event’s announcements also included the public preview of Azure Communication Services. Built natively, Microsoft claims its Azure Communication Services to be the first entirely managed communication platform offering from a primary cloud provider. 

“In this remote-first world, businesses are looking to quickly adapt to customers’ needs and connect with them through engaging communication experiences,” said Scott Van Vliet, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of intelligent communication. 



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