Microsoft global fibre network to connect Europe and Asia with North America

12 May 2015

Microsoft global fibre network with connect Europe, Asia and North America

Microsoft has contracted a number of fibre companies in Europe and Asia to help it lay a global sub-sea fibre network that will connect all of its data centres around the world. The network will connect Ballinspittle in Cork with the rest of the world.

These include Hibernia Networks and AquaComms, which are being contracted to help it lay a sub-sea fibre network that will provide connectivity between Halifax in Canada, Ballinspittle in Ireland and Brean in the UK.

The move, to support Microsoft’s growing data network needs, will connect Microsoft’s data centres via multiple metro and long-haul fibres.

Microsoft’s US$630m state-of-the-art data centre on the west side of Dublin is home to some 200 core Microsoft products, from Office 365 to its search platform Bing, its cloud development platform Azure, as well as stalwart products such as Lync, Exchange and SharePoint.

Microsoft is building a global fibre network that will connect all of its data centres in Europe, North America and Asia.

North America to Europe

In Europe, Hibernia Networks’ new Express cable will be key in supporting Microsoft’s backbone and connecting several of its data centres.

The Express cable pair will yield in excess of 10Tbps per pair, which is nearly triple the 3.5Tbps per pair delivered on the current systems.

Hibernia also announced yesterday that that more than 2,000km of armoured cable has been manufactured and loaded onto three cable-laying ships.

“This is an historic milestone for global communications as HiberniaNetworks’ Express cable will be the first modern fibre optic cable connecting North America to Europe in more than 12 years, catering to the need for additional, fast and high-performing global network capacity,” the company said yesterday.

“Hibernia Express is on schedule for delivering service to high-bandwidth network operators, including carriers, global financial firms and technology companies, in September 2015.”

Microsoft will also partner with AquaComms, which last month revealed plans to build a €300m fibre network linking Mayo with New York.

Asia to North America

In Asia, Microsoft is partnering with a group of telecoms companies including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation and TE SubCom to build the New Cross Pacific (NCP) cable network that will connect North America to Asia.

The global initiative will help Microsoft to reduce its cloud costs while at the same time boosting local economies through job creation.

“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,” Microsoft said.

Transatlantic cable laying image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years