government cloud

Microsoft adds Azure Government cloud regions

Microsoft has expanded its commitment to government cloud users by making the Azure Government cloud available in its Arizona and Texas data center regions.

Microsoft currently has Azure Government environments in Virginia and Iowa.  The company also operates two cloud centers exclusive to defense operations called US DoD East and DoD Central that have DOD Level 5 Provisional Authorization. The six dedicated government regions, whose facilities are each separated by more than 500 miles, offer "the broadest geographic availability," Microsoft Manager Tom Keane wrote in a July 10 blog post announcing service availability in the new regions.

All of the Azure Government regions are designed to meet the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program's High requirements, Criminal Justice Information System policies, International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement rules. 

On Monday, Microsoft also announced the availability of Azure Stack for company partners such as Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo to include their integrated systems. 

An extension of Azure, Azure Stack creates a hybrid environment that allows customers to process their data locally and aggregate the information into the Azure cloud for more analysis.

Microsoft will provide Azure Stack users with the technical controls to enable compliance with FedRAMP to make the certification process easier. 

While Microsoft operates Azure cloud in public and government regions, it will be the responsibility of the cloud service provider to get the authority to operate from an agency to include Azure Stack as an offering.

Vijay Tewari, principal group manager for Azure Stack, thinks government clients with employees working in the field have the most to gain from his product.

“Agencies that operate remotely and with limited to no connectivity to the public cloud can benefit from Azure Stack because it offers customers the ability to work in disconnected environments and have modern applications run in that environment,” Tewari told GCN.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.

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