Microsoft expands Azure Government services

At its March 5 Government Tech Summit, Microsoft made a number of announcements related to the Azure Government cloud. 

Microsoft is expanding on its October announcement of availability to handle classified workloads through Azure Secret.  Two new regions will soon be coming online that can handle classified data for civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.

The company also announced several new services now available to government customers, including:

  • New ExpressRoute locations in San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz., that will make it easier for government customers in those regions to create private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure.
  • Network Watcher, a service to monitor and diagnose network scenarios into Azure Government.
  • Azure DevTest Labs, which is a self-service sandbox environment in Azure.
  • Logic Apps to help government customers build powerful solutions through process automation and integrate applications and data across on-premise, public or private cloud environments.

Microsoft is also expanding platform-as-a-service offerings to include Azure Site Recovery, Backup and Azure App Services available to defense agencies under the Department of Defense Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization.  Additionally, it has added eight new services and new authority to operate designations under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

“We remain highly focused on meeting the accelerating demand for cloud services that support the most stringent security and compliance requirements of our government customers,” Tom Keane, head of infrastructure at Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog post.

The company also announced it would integrate Azure Stack with Azure Government, which would allow customers to run Azure’s cloud computing platform on their own private servers while retaining access to Microsoft’s cloud services.  That deployment is expected in mid-2018.

Frame is another service coming to Azure Government.  Frame allows customers to deploy a secure desktop-as-a-service capability without needing to create a virtual desktop infrastructure.

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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