Microsoft also announced the immediate availability of customised versions of Microsoft 365 for USA government agencies, bringing together Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) linked to a secure government cloud data centre. "As part of our overall, multi-cloud strategy we are excited about our partnership with Microsoft to offer Azure Stack as a converged infrastructure solution for government", said Nick Michaelides, VP of USA public sector for federal at Cisco, in a statement.
US-based digital security company McAfee is extending its cloud security platform to protect Satya Nadella-led Microsoft's Azure platform that provides cloud services. McAfee CWS for Azure became available earlier this year, it added.
Microsoft unveiled the new government services during a company event in Washington, DC, on Monday (March 5).
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.
Agencies can use Azure Stack to move workloads to on-premises systems that can later be shifted to cloud servers without further changes to code, developer tools, processes or staff skills, Mackevicius said. This will allow governments to take advantage of their existing infrastructure and share data across platforms.
Writing in a blog post, Azure Stack director Natalia Mackevicius said that governments will be able to connect to identity, subscription, registration, billing and backup/DR services. One example: The recent granting of a $950 million contract to an AWS partner, Rean Cloud, by the Pentagon came under criticism from rivals such as Oracle Corp. for appearing to favor AWS, though Rean itself has said the contract does not specify AWS as the cloud provider. The two new regions can accommodate government data classified secrets, noted Keane.
Because of the stringent compliance and security requirements of government agencies, the Azure Government cloud typically receives new products and updates several months after they land on the public cloud.