Microsoft Azure ████ secret ██ █████ ██ US govt's ███ ███ centers
Redmond now able to host projects like ████████ and █████████████ in █████ and ███████████
Microsoft's Azure cloud has been approved to host classified-level applications for the US government.
Redmond said on Wednesday the Azure Government wing of its cloud compute service has been cleared to host secret-level data and code for Uncle Sam's agencies and contractors.
The service, creatively dubbed Azure Government Secret, will be offered across the US Azure Government Cloud network; an isolated set of six interconnected cloud data centers spread across America from Virginia to Arizona.
"Azure Government Secret will deliver multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and cloud capabilities to US Federal Civilian, Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and US Government partners working within Secret enclaves," said Azure head of global infrastructure Tom Keane.
"Customers with Secret requirements can expect to gain access to new technologies at scale, including services such as cognitive capabilities, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics."
Uncle Sam █████████ cloud so much, AWS █████████ it another kinda-secret data centerREAD MORE
Microsoft also said it is updating its government service to add support for blockchain applications (via Azure blockchain apps), and include support for the Azure Security Center service on the Government cloud.
Other planned upgrades include adding support for the high-performance H-series instances in the government cloud (which won't happen until the end of the year) and adding support for Citrix VDI server instances running Windows 10 boxes (which is out today).
Microsoft hopes the expanded government services will allow it get a leg up on rival cloud giant AWS for the lucrative crop of US government cloud computing jobs.
Like Azure, Amazon's cloud runs a dedicated government cloud staffed by screened administrators and physically isolated from its public cloud. The clouds are specially earmarked for use only by the government and its authorized contractors in order to kill off any chance the general public can snoop on classified instances.
American government cloud contracts have become even more sought-after in recent years as many US agencies have shifted their legacy server applications and sprawling data center facilities to hosted clouds in an effort to cut down on hardware costs and IT capital expenses. ®