Portable datacentre crafted by Microsoft

Microsoft is to bring cloud computing to remote environments by creating a portable datacentre. The modular datacentre is essentially a big box of servers, designed for places where it's difficult to supply reliable cloud connectivity, The Verge said. Microsoft is partnering with satellite operators for connectivity, allowing this Azure Modular Datacentre (MDC) to be used as a mobile command centre, in humanitarian assistance, or even military missions.

“Around the world, there are significant cloud computing and storage needs in areas with adverse conditions, where low communication, disrupted network availability and limited access to specialised infrastructure would have previously prevented taking advantage of cloud computing,” says Bill Karagounis, manager of Microsoft's Azure Global Industry Sovereign Solutions. “The MDC solves this by bringing Azure to these environments, providing datacentre scale compute resources closest to where they're needed.”

Microsoft's MDC is ruggedised and housed in a radio frequency (RF) shielded unit, meaning it should operate in challenging climates.

This new MDC is the latest in Microsoft's efforts to make datacentres more portable. The software maker sunk an entire datacentre to the bottom of the Scottish sea back in 2018, with 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage on board. That underwater datacentre recently resurfaced, and Microsoft revealed that it had just one-eighth the failure rate of a land-based datacentre.

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