Tuesday, 23 April 2019 08:36

Microsoft launches new Azure Govt Secret regions for US Featured

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Microsoft launches new Azure Govt Secret regions for US Pixabay

Microsoft has set up two new Azure regions in the US devoted to the hosting of government data at the defence department's Impact Level 6, the highest classification for data.

The announcement comes a few days after it was made known that the company, along with Amazon, was in the running to be awarded a US$10 billion cloud hosting project from the Pentagon known as JEDI or Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure project.

The two regions, known as Azure Government Secret, are located 500 miles apart for security reasons and are undergoing private preview ahead of their accreditation, the company said in a blog post.

At the moment, Microsoft can host government data up to Impact Level 5 or controlled unclassified information. The creation of the two Azure Government Secret regions will also give Microsoft the ability to compete on a more even footing with the cloud leader, Amazon.

Lily Kim, general manager, Azure Global, said in the post: "Azure Government Secret includes two separate Azure regions in the US located over 500 miles apart, providing geographic resilience in disaster recovery scenarios and faster access to services across the country.

msoft levels

"In addition, Azure Government Secret operates on secure, native connections to classified networks, with options for ExpressRoute and ExpressRoute Direct to provide private, resilient, high-bandwidth connectivity.

"These new regions, operated by cleared US citizens, are built for IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and Marketplace solutions, bringing the strength of commercial innovation to the classified space. These secure regions will deliver an experience that’s consistent with Azure Government, designed for ease of procurement and alignment with existing resellers and programs."

Microsoft employees tried to get the company to opt out of the JEDI contract but failed to do so, with Microsoft president Brad Smith saying while the company was aware that technology was creating new ethical and policy issues, "we want the people of this country, and especially the people who serve this country, to know that we at Microsoft have their backs. They will have access to the best technology that we create".

Graphic: courtesy Microsoft

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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