Microsoft to offer Azure internal cloud technology for governments

Personal Cloud market

Josh Rice, general manager of Microsoft's worldwide modern workplace, wrote in a news release published Monday the Microsoft 356 package includes Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Office 365 offerings created to help government agencies meet us security and compliance requirements. AWS led the market with 32 percent, with Microsoft at 14 percent, according to Canalys estimates for the fourth quarter of past year.

Microsoft is ramping up its efforts to get more public sector users to adopt cloud through the release of a government-focused version of its Azure Stack technology in the US. The combined offering will enable government employees to run Azure's cloud computing technology on their own private servers.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now the leader in this market with a 32 per cent share of all business while Microsoft only controls 14 per cent. She promised Azure Stack would be made available in "mid-2018", without providing an exact date.

"Agencies can continue to leverage their existing infrastructure and share data seamlessly across platforms, easily integrating with next-generation services and innovating rapidly", wrote Tom Keane, head of global infrastructure at Microsoft Azure, in a blog post.

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Microsoft is developing a localised version of its Azure cloud platform to satisfy government demands for local storage and processing of sensitive data. Enabling Azure Stack on Azure Government also means government IT departments can easily switch between public, government-only, and on-premise cloud environments depending on their specific needs at any time (for example, if there's a specific cyber threat or geopolitical changes).

Microsoft's moves arrive amid intensifying competition among cloud providers seeking to grow their government customer bases.

Microsoft has said it plans to launch two new Azure Secret regional instances for high-security government organisations later this year.

Second, Microsoft announced two new regions for Secret classified data that will be coming soon. ExpressRoute enables organizations to bypass the public internet by establishing direct links to Azure data centers, a ploy used to improve security and avoid inconsistent networking performance.

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