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Microsoft Invests in Subsea Cables to Connect Datacenters Globally

Posted on May 11, 2015

Managing Director, Network Enablement

I’m at International Telecoms Week (ITW) today, talking about how the telecoms industry is in the midst of a change to accommodate the growing trend of data consumption. As we look at how people and businesses will interact with technology in the future, there are investments we need to make now to support our customers and help their businesses grow. As people and organizations expect data and information at their fingertips Microsoft must have an infrastructure that can deliver the cloud services, including Azure, which our customers need to support their global businesses.

Over the past 9 months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber partnerships that span multiple oceans and continents. And today, our connections across the Atlantic and Pacific just got stronger.

We announced deals with Hibernia and Aqua Comms, in which Microsoft is investing in a cable with each company to connect Microsoft’s datacenter infrastructure from North America to Ireland and on to the United Kingdom. These cables will help deliver data at higher speeds, with higher capacity and lower latency for our customers across the globe.

Additionally, we joined a consortium comprised of China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation with TE SubCom as the cable supplier. As part of our participation in the consortium, Microsoft will invest in its first physical landing station in the US connecting North America to Asia. The New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network will provide faster data connections for customers, aid Microsoft in competing on cloud costs, all while creating jobs and spurring local economies. The goal of our expansions and investments in subsea cables is so our customers have the greatest access to scale and highly available data, anywhere.

Satya has discussed his vision of Microsoft being a mobile-first, cloud-first company. During Microsoft’s latest earnings we shared that the Commercial Cloud division, which includes Azure, Office 365 and other services, grew 106 percent, and as we expand our cloud services and global infrastructure, we need a strong subsea strategy to ensure our customers experience high availability access to their data.

When we look to the future with these investments, we believe our customers will see that Microsoft is pulling together all the components necessary to make its cloud services the most reliable, accessible and secure.

Competition in the cloud and infrastructure space continues to heat up. But it’s not a battle that will be won on just cloud or infrastructure alone, but instead on holistic innovation and providing value to customers from the “sea to the sky”.

For more information on our involvement with Aqua Comms, Hibernia and NCP check out their press releases.