Microsoft invests in subsea cables to connect data centres across globe

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 12 May 2015
Microsoft invests in subsea cables to connect data centres across globe

Microsoft has partnered with subsea and global telecommunications services providers to connect its data centres and deliver data at higher speeds, with higher capacity and lower latency to its customers across the globe.

To connect Microsoft’s data centre infrastructure to both Ireland and the UK, Microsoft has joined with Hibernia Networks. The company’s new subsea Express cable will be used to connect several of Microsoft’s data centres to locations in Halifax, Canada; Ballinspittle, Ireland; and Brean, UK.

“Hibernia Networks’ network ensures our customers experience an increase in available network capacity and seamless cloud services across the globe,” said David Crowley, managing director of Global Network Enablement at Microsoft. “It is critical that our customers be able to access their data anywhere, at anytime and on any device. Hibernia Networks’ cutting-edge technology, unparalleled reliability and unique diversity make this a reality for our customers.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s partnership with Aqua Comms will enable it to use the America Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea cable system, which will be built by TE SubCom.

Using the latest optical technology and a control plane based on software-defined networking technologies, AEConnect will provide Microsoft with a scalable infrastructure to address growing bandwidth demands for applications, content and data exchange.

It will also provide multiple points of presence to enable Microsoft to expand its network in Europe and keep its enterprise cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Intune, live and operating at peak capacity and performance levels.

“AEConnect aids in future-proofing our transatlantic capacity requirements, connecting directly to our operations in Ireland and onward into Europe to support our expanding data network capacity needs,” said Crowley.

In addition, Microsoft has joined a consortium comprised of China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom KT Corporation and TE SubCom to build a New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network.

Spanning more than 13,000km, the NCP Cable Network will link Hillsboro, Oregon in the US; Chongming, Nanhui and Lingang in China; Busan, South Korea; Toucheng, Taiwan; and Maruyama, Japan. It will use optical amplifier technology to achieve high performance and will be designed to interconnect with other cable systems in the region to maximise the throughput of data. It is expected to launch in late 2017.

As part of the project, Microsoft will invest in its first physical landing station in the US connecting North America to Asia.

“The 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,” said Crowley. “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.”

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