Microsoft has launched two Azure Government Secret regions, now in private preview and pending accreditation. The tech giant informed that they offer comprehensive and mission enabling cloud services to US Federal Civilian, Department of Defense (DoD), Intelligence Community (IC), and US government partners working within Secret enclaves.
Announcing the launch, Lily Kim, General Manager, Azure Global wrote on the company blog, “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.”
Azure Government Secret includes two separate Azure regions in the US. Microsoft did not disclose the location of the data centers. The company said that they are 500 miles apart from each other, providing geographic resilience in disaster recovery (DR) scenarios and faster access to services across the country.
“Azure Government Secret will enable us to take applications in legacy IT environments and move them onto a scalable, high-performance platform. This will be a great opportunity to modernize services, making them more efficient and effective for our defense customers,” said Keith Johnson, Chief Technology Officer for the Defense and Intelligence Groups, Leidos.
According to Microsoft, the Azure Government Secret regions are developed using the same foundational principles and architecture as Azure commercial cloud. These dedicated datacenter regions are built with additional controls to meet the regulatory and compliance requirements for DoD Impact Level 6 (IL6) and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Intelligence Community Directive (ICD 503) accreditation.
Microsoft has also expanded the scope of all Azure Government regions to enable DoD Impact Level 5 (IL5) data. It will provide a cost-effective option for L5 workloads with a broad range of available services.
Microsoft’s announcement comes as the company is competing with Amazon for JEDI, a cloud contract for the Department of Defense. Microsoft and Amazon are the last bidders standing for the $10 billion contract. The Pentagon is expected to make a decision around mid-July.