Microsoft has announced plans to integrate its Azure Stack with Azure Government later this year, allowing US agencies to run Microsoft's cloud services on their own private infrastructure.
At present, Microsoft has a huge array of central government clients, including the Small Business Administration (SBA), US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the US Air Force and many of the USA's city and state governments.
"Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, and government customers can leverage these powerful hybrid capabilities to bring core and advanced cloud services to the edge, whether it's field office, tank or aircraft," Natalia Mackevicius, director of Azure Stack, said.
"With Azure Stack, it becomes possible to process data in the field without worrying about latency or internet connectivity, and then run aggregated analytics in Azure Government to get the most precise predictions and anomaly detections. In each of the scenarios, a hybrid cloud extends from enterprise to the tactical edge, which can be connected or offline or disconnected environments."
Adding the capability to run its entire stack on private servers means the public sector can benefit from all of Microsoft's cloud-based services, with the peace of mind their data will remain on-site, in a government-secure datacentre.
Everything can be managed from one place, including identity, subscription, billing, backup and disaster recovery and the Azure Marketplace for access to even more apps and services. 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 is already unique in providing consistent, comprehensive hybrid cloud capabilities to government, and we're advancing those capabilities by bringing Microsoft Azure Stack to Azure Government," Julia White, corporate vice president of Azure, said in a blog post, explaining Microsoft's decision.
'This is a game-changing hybrid solution that delivers consistency across public, government-only, and on-premises cloud environments to enable advanced services to power government's tactical missions and make the intelligent edge a reality."
Azure Stack's integration with Azure Government will be completed by the middle of this year.
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Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.
Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.
As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.