Today we announce the expansion of our mission critical cloud for the US government with new functions in Azure Government, the expansion of Azure Government Secret and the announcement of a new cloud to provide customers with top-secret classified data – Azure Government Top Secret.
Announcing Azure Government Top Secret
We recently completed the establishment of new Azure government top secret regions and are working with the US government on accreditation. As part of our ongoing commitment to commercial parity due to government mission requirements, the top secret regions of Azure Government provide the same functionality as Azure (commercial), Azure Government, and Azure Government Secret, enabling continuous computing from the mission cloud to the tactical edge.
The wide range of services meets the need for more flexibility in the classified area, including the need to gain deeper insights into data coming from any location, as well as the need to enable the rapid expansion of remote work. In addition, mission holders benefit from greater choice when upgrading older systems with a secure cloud platform built on open standards and open frameworks with tools that work at a variety of skill levels, from business analysts to developers to data scientists.
Azure Government Secret new features
Azure Government Secret continues to help mission owners gain new insights, enable safe innovations, gain more flexibility, and advance the mission. Customers, including customers in the Department of Defense, law enforcement, and other agencies, are using the Azure Government Secret today. Azure Government Secret is authorized by both IL6 (Department of Defense Impact Level 6) and ICD 503 (Intelligence Community Directive).
“Microsoft is focused on activating missions. Missions are activated with workloads. Workloads live in enclaves that store different amounts of data. Microsoft enables seamless, secure, and cost-based agility across mission workloads.
The consistency between Azure (commercial), Azure Government and Azure Government Secret is also changing the game, as software development can be done from anywhere, while code can even be transported in enclaves with higher classification levels. There it can interact with data from higher classification levels. Ultimately, this means doing more for the mission at a lower overall cost. “- Carroll Moon, CTO of CloudFit Software.
Today we are announcing several new services in Azure Government Secret. For application developers, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Container Instances can help you deploy and manage containerized applications more easily. Intelligent security analytics services Azure Sentinel and Azure Security Center are now also available in Azure Government Secret. They enable uniform security in your digital estate and integrated, proactive threat management. Together with Azure Monitor, these services support you in collecting, analyzing and processing telemetry data from your Azure and local environment.
Azure Government Availability Zones, Windows Virtual Desktop Availability, and Enhanced Compliance
Events of the past year have shown the importance of safely maintaining critical government operations. We have designed and built our cloud platforms for high availability and reliability. Today we are announcing availability zones in Azure Government that provide high availability for your most demanding business-critical applications and data. Availability zones are tolerant of data center failures through redundancy and logical isolation of services and ensure that important customer services and workloads are available anytime, anywhere.
In addition to responding to unprecedented events, government agencies are quick to respond to today’s imperative to work remotely. We have seen a high demand for solutions that enable teams to work from anywhere and keep relevant data in a securely managed environment. We recently announced the availability of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) in Azure Government with FedRAMP High accreditation that enables agencies to deploy WVD for mission-critical workloads and enable safer, more productive scenarios for working from anywhere.
As new services are being rolled out to each of our government-only cloud regions, we work with our accreditation bodies to ensure that these services are authorized at the correct level for your workloads. We now offer 137 Azure Government services at FedRAMP High and 97 services at Department of Defense Impact Level 5 (IL5) in all Azure Government regions.1 Visit our documentation page for a full list of Services according to the scope of the examination.
Total flexibility on the tactical edge
Today we announce updates to our Tactical Edge portfolio for US government customers. Together, these new first-party edge devices help you do more for the mission, whether it’s preprocessing data for low latency response times, pushing AI and machine learning (ML) to the extreme, or leveraging satellite data faster in decision-making to enable separate environments.
Modular data center generally available at Impact Levels 5 and 6 with high availability options
The recently announced Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) Provides data center-scale computing and storage resources for areas where adverse conditions, disrupted network availability, and limited access to specialized infrastructures would normally prohibit cloud computing. The MDC can run separate security enclaves so that mission users can operate workloads across multiple data classifications concurrently in one unit and, like the other rugged equipment, operate in fully connected, occasionally connected, or completely disconnected scenarios. The MDC enables government customers to deploy a single critical infrastructure to meet the needs of a wide variety of mission workloads at various classification levels. All of this in an independent footprint that reduces logistics costs.
Today we announce:
- The Network High Availability Module (HA) for the MDC that provides network stability through multiple satellite communication partners in different orbits. Network stability is provided over SATCOM connections through our continuously growing ecosystem of SATCOM partners such as SpaceX and SES to ensure Continuity of Operation (COOP) during fiber failover.
- The high availability module, which increases resilience where customers need it, offers an on-demand option to add additional resources for power stability in a form factor that is as portable as the MDC. In intermittent or unreliable power deployments, the transition between multiple power sources keeps MDC workloads going.
Azure Stack Hub Ruggedized
Azure Stack Hub Ruggedized from Microsoft is an Azure hardware and software solution that offers a cloud-consistent approach to operating environments while still having limited or no network connectivity, harsh conditions that require military specifications, and high security requirements with optional connectivity to any Azure- Cloud considered. Azure Stack Hub Ruggedized is now generally available to customers in Azure Government and Azure Government Secret.
Azure Stack Edge Pro R and Mini R.
With the Azure Stack Edge appliances, Azure Stack Edge Pro R and Azure Stack Edge Mini R, you can run applications and leverage hardware-accelerated AI and ML solutions to analyze, transform, and filter data at the edge right where data is created and be collected. You can then aggregate data in Azure for further analysis with a common app logic for both. The appliances also act as a cloud storage gateway that enables data transfers to Azure while maintaining local access to files. Azure Stack Edge Pro R and Mini R are generally available to customers in Azure Government and Azure Government Secret.
These robust edge devices have been developed and built for your mission requirements and enable scenarios from disaster relief to modern fleet management to perimeter security and detection of dangerous objects. US Government Customers and Their Partners2 can use Azure Commercial, Azure Government, and Azure Government Secret to advance their missions based on their compliance needs. Providing a wide range of commercial innovations to the government via IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and These cloud platforms offer the most comprehensive compliance and are designed to help you modernize mission systems and stay on top today and tomorrow.
1read this Isolation policies for impact level 5 workloads.
2Azure Government is available to federal, state, local, or tribal government agencies and their solution providers with authorization verification. Azure Government Secret is available, with US government approval, to agencies working with data classified at the secret level.