Sunday, April 1, 2012

Microsoft Extends Cloud to the Moon

Microsoft today revealed that they have made the first commercial use of private spacecraft to position a containerized data center on the Moon. Known as the Lunar Data Center (LDC), the new facility is part of the Microsoft Cloud and is fully operational, already hosting Microsoft's own Bing, Hotmail, and Office 365.

Since the same side of the Moon always faces Earth, connectivity will always be available via geographically-balanced, black-laser uplink nodes, with at least one in each time-zone. It's state-of-the art green-energy design uses solar-power and vacuum-cooled CPUs to avoid creating green-house gases that could damage the Moon's extremely thin Ozone Layer.

The LDC also boasts unprecedented long-term-storage (LTS) by means of its unique Deep Space Backup Vault (DSBV). The DSBV provides infinite archival storage based on a perennial series of linked deep-space vehicles (LDSVs), modeled after NASA's Voyager interstellar spacecraft. While Voyager spacecraft will eventually go too far to communicate with NASA's Earth-based Deep Space Network (DSN), Microsoft's first LDSV (and the farthest from Earth) will communicate with the second LDSV (slightly closer to Earth), which will in turn communicate with the third LDSV, so that the last LDSV launched at any given time will always be within signal range of Earth the the LDC.

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer was quoted as saying that this surprise announcement "seriously undercuts Amazon's Mars-based cloud extension, which is not expected to be operational until 2015 at the earliest." When asked about Google's efforts to build a cold-data storage center on Uranus, Balmer said such a plan was unworkable, but that's exactly where he thought they'd try to put it.