Microsoft adds satellite support to its Azure ExpressRoute private-networking option

Microsoft is adding satellite support to Azure ExpressRoute and is making Azure available from two new regions in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Khoj Information Technology

Microsoft is adding satellite connectivity as a new option for its Azure ExpressRoute private networking service. Microsoft is touting the addition of satellite support as a way to improve connectivity and performance with rural and remote sites.

On September 9, Microsoft officials announced that Microsoft's cloud services now can be accessed with ExpressRoute using satellite connectivity. Microsoft added three new partners -- SES, Intelsat, and Viasat -- to provide the satellite piece of its solution. ExpressRoute for satellites connects its partners' ground stations to Azure over a dedicated private link.

Microsoft anticipates Azure customers in aviation, oil, and gas, remote manufacturing will be potential markets for this new satellite offering. Satellite connectivity with ExpressRoute also works with Azure Government clouds. 

Microsoft first made ExpressRoute generally available to enterprise users in 2014. Originally codenamed "Golden Gate," ExpressRoute is designed to provide users private and dedicated network connections that don't use the Internet. Microsoft has been delivering ExpressRoute via partnerships with telecommunications providers like AT&T, Verizon, BT, Level 3, Equinix, Telecity and more.

In other Azure news, Microsoft announced today, September 9, its two newest German regions are now open. The two new regions -- in Berlin and Frankfurt -- currently offerAzure. Microsoft officials said Office 365 should be available in these new datacenters in the first quarter of 2020 and Dynamics 365 later in 2020. Microsoft originally announced its German expansion plans in March 2018

Microsoft opened its first German regions in 2015 with a twist to enable in-country data residency needs there.  

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