Microsoft presents Azure capacity improvement plans and achievements

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To meet demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft has made some changes to how they run their cloud services. Since the start of the pandemic, Microsoft officials have been giving updates on how the company has been working to increase cloud capacity.

On June 16th, they shared specifics about what they have been doing, including information about how they have been trying to shore up Azure-based teams’ service as demand grows sharply. Officials had already said that Microsoft prioritized demand from healthcare workers, first responders, and other front-line workers.

They had to throttle less-essential services. In addition to all that, supply chain problems led to a shortage of essential datacenter components, contributing to issues when meeting some cloud demands.

Round-the-clock work

They said that datacenter employees have been working round-the-clock installing new servers while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Microsoft added new servers to the hardest-hit regions and put in new hardware racks.

The capacity of the undersea cables that carry data across the Atlantic has been doubled as well. Microsoft is in talks to open up more capacity across the Atlantic and other undersea cables. Within two weeks, engineers were able to triple the capacity on the America-Europe Connect cable.

Additions on additions

Microsoft’s Azure Wide Area Network team managed to add 110 terabits of capacity in two months to the fiberoptic, which carried Microsoft data. They also added 12 new edge-computing sites to connect the network to infrastructure belonging to local internet providers, to ease congestion.

The Microsoft teams also had to add updates to the forecasting models that take into account the significant spike in cloud demand, as a result of the pandemic. Microsoft added the predictive modeling techniques they use, including ARIMA, Additive, Multiplicative, and Logarithmic.

It will be interesting to see what the new capacities will do, as the pandemic runs its course.