government cloud

Microsoft expands Azure Government regions

Microsoft making the Azure Government cloud available in its Arizona and Texas data center regions, expanding its offerings to government cloud users.

Currently the company has Azure Government environments in Virginia and Iowa.  Microsoft  also runs two cloud centers for the military: US DoD East and DoD Central that offer DOD Level 5 Provisional Authorization. Now with six dedicated government regions, whose facilities are each separated by more than 500 miles, the company can offer "the broadest geographic availability," Microsoft Manager Tom Keane wrote in a July 10 blog post.

All of the Azure Government regions are designed to meet the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program's High requirements, Criminal Justice Information System policies, International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement rules. 

On Monday, Microsoft also announced the availability of Azure Stack for company partners such as Dell EMC, HPE and Lenovo to include their integrated systems. 

An extension of Azure, Azure Stack creates a hybrid environment that allows customers to process their data locally and aggregate the information into the Azure cloud for more analysis.

Microsoft will provide Azure Stack users with the technical controls to enable compliance with FedRAMP to make the certification process easier. 

While Microsoft operates Azure cloud in public and government regions, it will be the responsibility of the cloud service provider to get the authority to operate from an agency to include Azure Stack as an offering.

Vijay Tewari, principal group manager for Azure Stack, said he thinks government clients with employees working in the field have the most to gain from his product.

“Agencies that operate remotely and with limited to no connectivity to the public cloud can benefit from Azure Stack because it offers customers the ability to work in disconnected environments and have modern applications run in that environment,” Tewari said.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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