Microsoft Prioritizes Cloud Access To First Responders, Governments As COVID-19 Creates 'Unique Challenges'
More people are working from home to social distance themselves, as recommended by numerous health organizations in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Can the Internet infrastructure hold up? It's an interesting question—several streaming video services, for example, have cut the quality of feeds in Europe. In light of these "new and unique challenges," Microsoft says it is prioritizing its cloud infrastructure to first responders and certain government bodies.
"As companies operationalize to address new and unique challenges, we have mobilized our global response plan to help customers stay up and running during this critical time. We are actively monitoring performance and usage trends 24/7 to ensure we are optimizing our services for customers worldwide, while accommodating new demand. We are working closely with first responder organizations and critical government agencies to ensure we are prioritizing their unique needs and providing them our fullest support," Microsoft stated in a blog post.
Microsoft also said it has partnered with governments globally to ensure its local datacenters are staffed and that all functions are running properly.
This is a temporarily concern, and depending on how things go, cloud infrastructures will be tested in ways they have not been before. In addition to more people telecommuting, many businesses have closed, and the same goes for schools and various events. To pass the time, people are turning to online activities.
"In response to health authorities emphasizing the importance of social distancing, we are supporting many large-scale corporations, schools, and governments in the mobilization of remote workforces. Microsoft Teams is helping millions of people adapt to remote work," Microsoft added.
Microsoft also noted that it has "clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity" in the event it is faced with any capacity constraints in any region. First reponders, health and emergency management services, critical government organizations, and remote workers will be served first, if it comes to that.
Somewhat related, Microsoft recently launched a live, interactive coronavirus tracking map through Bing. This allows you to view the spread of COVID-19 by region, as well as look up local articles that might be of interest.