Microsoft’s plans for public edge cloud zones are one step closer to fruition with the soft-launch of its Azure Edge Zone in Atlanta, Georgia alongside partner AT&T.
Currently available as a “private preview”, enterprises with an interest in 5G edge solutions can enquire to sign up for access.
The edge zone combines AT&T’s 5G network edge capabilities with a localised version of Microsoft’s Azure cloud from one of AT&T’s data centres in Atlanta.
Whilst currently only available in Atlanta, the partners claim to have conducted a successful proof-of-concepts in Los Angeles and plan to expand to Dallas and other US metropolitan areas next.
Microsoft executive VP Jason Zander said: “In this place where cloud meets the edge, compute meets mobile, and 5G trends continue to drive innovation—customer demand for advanced network capabilities is surging.
“For customers, the promise of all these converging technologies is still the ability to create and use innovative solutions and experiences to keep pace with a rapidly evolving digital landscape.”
AT&T and Microsoft announced their strategic partnership, which has seen the carrier’s 5G network move to the Azure cloud, back in July.
Microsoft announced its Azure Edge Zones last year with plans to build both a public and private version. The private counterpart works with private LTE/5G networks combined with Azure Stack Edge.
Microsoft Azure CTO Victor Bahl described the Edge Zone as “a fast-forwarding mechanism to build a 5G overlay on our existing WAN, thereby supporting a variety of 5G network slices with different wired transport properties, while avoiding interference with the operation of the underlying enterprise cloud network.”
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