Microsoft plans to prioritize access to its Azure cloud-based services to first responders, emergency services and critical infrastructure if there are capacity limitations. The software giant experienced some problems with Microsoft equipment last week after a nearly 40 percent increase when companies turned to remote work during the current coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft is now trying to avoid impacting existing customers while managing new demand.
Microsoft is “actively monitoring performance and usage trends 24/7” to ensure that the services are optimized and working as expected. If that’s not the case, Microsoft has priority plans. “As demand continues to grow, if we face capacity constraints in any region during this time, we have established clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity,” explains a Microsoft Azure blog post. “The top priority will be to go to first aid services, health services and emergency management, organizational use of critical government infrastructure, and ensure that remote workers remain operational with the core functionality of the teams.”
Microsoft says it is also partnering with governments around the world to ensure that local data centers are staffed and can provide cloud services. The software maker is also prepared to fine-tune free cloud service offerings “to ensure support from existing customers.”
Microsoft’s cloud engagements come just as CEO Satya Nadella sent an internal memo to all employees over the weekend, detailing the company’s coronavirus response plans. In it, Nadella acknowledges that “we are in unknown territory” and that the ongoing pandemic is disturbing and uncertain. “One truth that brings me comfort is that this virus has no borders, its cure will have no borders,” says Nadella. “We are all in this together as a global community. For me, the best way I’ve found to overcome this anxiety is to focus on what I can do each day to make a little difference. “