Microsoft Azure Space

Back in 2022, Microsoft announced Azure Space, a set of products and services that are designed to meet the needs of the space community. Microsoft partnered with several space industry players including SpaceX to make space connectivity and compute more accessible for various industries.

Microsoft today announced Azure Orbital Cloud Access Preview, a new Azure Space service.

Azure Orbital Cloud Access preview enables low-latency (1-hop) access to the cloud—from anywhere on the planet. This will allow organizations to bring satellite-based communications into their enterprise cloud operation. In the preview phase, Microsoft is focusing on government agencies.

Azure Orbital Cloud Access delivers prioritized network traffic through SpaceX’s Starlink connectivity and Azure edge devices, providing customers with access to Microsoft cloud services anywhere Starlink operates.

Azure Orbital Cloud Access is available on a simple monthly subscription basis and a pay-as-you-go satellite communications consumption model. And it is available for Azure Government customers. Azure Orbital Cloud Access also natively integrates with SD-WAN technology from Juniper Networks.

Microsoft also announced the general availability of Azure Orbital Ground Station, a fully managed ground station as a service offering. This service enables satellite operators to focus on their satellites and operate from the cloud more reliably.

Microsoft is also advancing the digital transformation of satellite communication networks. Microsoft highlighted the following today:

  • The first demonstration of a fully virtualized iDirect modem.
  • Together with SES we are announcing a new joint satellite communications virtualization program.