Microsoft to combine Azure Stack with Azure Government

Microsoft announced it will integrate its Azure Stack with Azure Government sometime in the middle of the year as part of an initiative to attract government agencies.

The offering is aimed at government agencies that require on-premise servers. The combined offering will enable government employees to run Azure’s cloud computing technology on their own private servers.

“A hybrid cloud helps organizations address requirements around regulations, connectivity, and latency, which is why many government agencies turn to a hybrid approach as the bedrock of their IT modernization strategy,” wrote Natalia Mackevicius, director of Azure Stack, a company blog post. “Hybrid cloud allows government customers to seamlessly use and move between public cloud environments and their own infrastructure.”

Mackevicius added that the combination of Azure Stack and Azure Government can enable government customers to support the full-spectrum of unclassified and classified data and special access programs, and to support various data export policies. It can also help meet regulatory requirements for government entities, including embassies or military bases in foreign countries where local cloud services may be restricted on account of data sovereignty laws.

Microsoft competes with rivals like AWS for clients in the public sector. AWS currently holds a 32% share of the cloud computing market. Microsoft holds 14% a share of the market, followed by Google at 8% a share and IBM at 4% a share, according to Canalys.

“Cisco has data center solutions in most government agencies. As part of our overall, multi-cloud strategy we are excited about our partnership with Microsoft to offer Azure Stack as a converged infrastructure solution for government,” said Nick Michaelides, VP of U.S. public sector for federal at Cisco, in a statement.

The offering follows AWS debuting a cloud service for the U.S. Intelligence Community called “Secret Region” last November. The month before, Microsoft announced it was expanding its Azure Government Secure service. As part of the recent Azure Stack integration announcement, Microsoft said two Azure Government regions will soon be available, thereby making a total of eight cloud data center regions intended for government users.

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