Microsoft names priority users for new Azure capacity – emergency services, government, remote workers top the list

Totally not running out of cloud. But may ditch free offers to serve current customers during the Pandemic

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Microsoft is to prioritise healthcare and government users as it adds Azure capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a post without a byline made over the weekend, the company said: "As demand continues to grow, if we are faced with any capacity constraints in any region during this time, we have established clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity.

"Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams. We will also consider adjusting free offers, as necessary, to ensure support of existing customers."

Please note, dear readers, that Microsoft wrote "if we are faced with any capacity constraints" – there's no indication it is experiencing any constraints at the time of writing. Note also that the post refers to "priority of new cloud capacity" – which strongly suggests this is not about rationing current Azure resources, but setting priorities on how to use additional capacity as it comes online.

The post says work with priority users has commenced.

"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," the post says. "We are also partnering with governments around the globe to ensure our local datacenters have on-site staffing and all functions are running properly."

Microsoft has also "mobilized our global response plan to help customers stay up and running during this critical time". And it has placed people in front of all available dashboards to make sure nothing goes red without being noticed.

"It is not business as usual," the post states, adding: "But, together, we can and will get through this. We will be back in touch soon."

Microsoft recommends keeping an eye on the Azure Service Health dashboard and Microsoft 365 Service Health Dashboards – assuming you've signed up for those services. ®


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