Category Archives : Government

15

Nov

Five lessons for building your roadmap to a secure hybrid cloud future

This blog post is a part of our security series for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month where we discuss how federal CIOs can best prepare for a cloud environment that works securely with your on-premises datacenters.

The need for federal agencies to get their hybrid cloud roadmaps in place has reached a tipping point over the past year, especially as pressures mount to modernize the government’s vast portfolio of aging legacy IT systems and make smarter use of available IT funding.

Agency IT leaders however, face a deeper challenge. Deciding which applications to move to the cloud and which should be rebuilt or replaced to function securely in a hybrid environment. They must do so while planning for a rapidly-changing cybersecurity landscape.

That’s why rationalizing and rightsizing your applications deserves careful attention. This is also why aligning with the right partners who can support your applications, whether in the cloud or on-premises, can be the difference between successful IT modernization versus just lifting-and-shifting to the cloud.

That’s one reason a growing number of agencies are choosing the flexibility and built-in security features of cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure Government. Azure Government gives leaders a flexible way to test out their

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08

Oct

Enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions for government

We are going through a technology transformation that is unlocking new mission scenarios for government agencies that were simply not possible before. Smart sensors and connected devices are changing the way agencies approach problems from equipment maintenance to measuring air quality, smart cities to military outposts, while new devices are increasingly cloud connected by default – whether it’s a traffic light or a rescue vehicle.

Simultaneously, hybrid cloud is evolving from being the integration of a datacenter with the public cloud, to becoming units of computing available at even the world’s most remote destinations working in concert with public cloud. Now, more than ever before, government can bring the power of cloud to missions around the globe.

Bring these two technology trends together, with AI running across all systems, and we enter the era of the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. And while we expect every industry to benefit as these technologies advance, the work of government in particular will be changed by the ability to plan farther, gather information more efficiently, and deliver insight where it is needed most.
The intelligent cloud is ubiquitous computing enabled by public cloud and powered with AI. In this way, we refer to

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08

Oct

Re-define analytics with Azure SQL Data Warehouse Gen2 tier now generally available

Microsoft Azure Government regions give unparalleled flexibility for US government agencies and their partners. Today, we announce the general availability of industry-leading performance Azure SQL Data Warehouse Compute Optimized Gen2 tier for government customers in the US Gov Arizona and US Gov Texas regions. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fast, flexible, and secure analytics platform offering you a SQL-based view across data. It is elastic, enabling you to provision a cloud data warehouse in minutes and scale to terabytes in minutes.

With Azure Government only US federal, state, local, and tribal governments and their partners have access to this dedicated instance that only screened US citizens operate. Customers can choose from six government-only datacenter regions, including two regions granted an Impact Level 5 Provisional Authorization. Moreover, Azure Government offers the most compliance certifications of any cloud provider.

These new locations bring the product worldwide availability count for Compute Optimized Gen2 tier to 28 regions.

More performance, concurrency, and power

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Gen2 brings the best of Microsoft software and hardware innovations to dramatically improve query performance and concurrency. Our customers now get up to five times better performance on average for query workloads, four times more

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04

Oct

Announcing Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL for Azure Government customers

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL for Azure Government customers. With this GA milestone, government agencies and their partners have even more options as they work to advance their missions. These fully managed, government-ready database as a service offerings bring the community versions of MySQL and PostgreSQL to mission-critical government workloads with built-in high availability, a 99.99% availability SLA, elastic scaling for performance, and industry leading security and compliance. Building on the community edition of MySQL and PostgreSQL, lifting and shifting to the cloud is easier than ever, while maintaining full compatibility with your languages and frameworks of your choice.

Features include compute scale up to 32 vCores, offering a new Memory Optimized tier, ability to scale storage on-line independent of compute without impact to application performance, allowing greater flexibility in backup storage options, and achieving industry compliance with ISO, SOC, and HIPAA. We are also compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As with every Azure Government service, you also get the assurance of world-class security, compliance and advanced threat protection services.

The Azure Government difference

Azure Government delivers a dedicated cloud enabling government

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24

Jul

Announcing availability of Azure Managed Application in AzureGov

Azure Managed Applications enable Managed Service Provider (MSP), Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners, and enterprise IT teams to deliver fully managed turnkey cloud solutions that can be made available through the enterprise Service Catalog of a specific end-customer. Customers can quickly deploy managed applications in their own subscription and rely on the partner or central IT team for maintenance operations and support across the lifecycle. 

It is the doorway through which enterprises consume Azure.

Organization Service Catalog as a distribution channel

Service Catalog allows organizations to create a catalog of approved applications and services that can be consumed by people in the organization. It can contain anything from customized virtual machine offers, servers, databases to complex in-house applications. Maintaining such a catalog of solutions is helpful especially for central IT teams in enterprises as it enables them to ensure compliance with certain organizational standards while providing great solutions for their organization. They can control, update, and maintain these applications. It allows employees in the organization to easily discover the rich set of applications that are recommended and approved by the IT department. The customers will only see the Service Catalog Managed Applications created by themselves or those that have been shared

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24

Jul

Announcing availability of Azure Managed Application in AzureGov

Azure Managed Applications enable Managed Service Provider (MSP), Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners, and enterprise IT teams to deliver fully managed turnkey cloud solutions that can be made available through the enterprise Service Catalog of a specific end-customer. Customers can quickly deploy managed applications in their own subscription and rely on the partner or central IT team for maintenance operations and support across the lifecycle. 

It is the doorway through which enterprises consume Azure.

Organization Service Catalog as a distribution channel

Service Catalog allows organizations to create a catalog of approved applications and services that can be consumed by people in the organization. It can contain anything from customized virtual machine offers, servers, databases to complex in-house applications. Maintaining such a catalog of solutions is helpful especially for central IT teams in enterprises as it enables them to ensure compliance with certain organizational standards while providing great solutions for their organization. They can control, update, and maintain these applications. It allows employees in the organization to easily discover the rich set of applications that are recommended and approved by the IT department. The customers will only see the Service Catalog Managed Applications created by themselves or those that have been shared

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02

Apr

New Microsoft Azure regions available for Australia and New Zealand

Two new Microsoft Azure regions in Australia are available to customers, making Microsoft the only global provider to deliver cloud services specifically designed to address the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand governments and critical national infrastructure, including banks, utilities, transport and telecommunications.

We build our cloud infrastructure to serve the needs of our customers by delivering innovation globally and listening locally. To support the mission-critical work of crucial organizations in Australia and New Zealand, we’re delivering our global cloud platform through a unique partnership with Canberra Data Centres.

A key to our new Australia Central regions is the ability for customers to deploy their own applications and infrastructure within Canberra Data Centres directly connected via Azure ExpressRoute to Microsoft’s global network. This offers a great deal of flexibility and surety on network performance and security, making these regions ideally suited to the complex challenge of modernising mission-critical applications over time. Australian federal government customers can leverage their Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) for direct connectivity.

With heightened scrutiny of supply chain assurance in government and critical national infrastructure, we are proud to deliver these services in partnership with Australian-owned Canberra Data Centres. They are the premier data centre

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28

Mar

How Catania secures public data with Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Digital transformation is a key theme for public sector today. Government organizations big and small, want to leverage cloud technologies to deliver improved citizen services while keeping costs under control. However, security and compliance especially when dealing with a large amount of citizen data is crucial.

The municipality of Catania in Italy, that serves over a million people, wanted to build a streamlined management and storage of public service operations data. They also wanted to safeguard against any potential damage to their physical datacenter and ensure service continuity.

Azure came to the rescue. Working with our partner Softjam, Commune di Catania built a hybrid solution that uses SQL Server and Azure Data Warehouse (Azure SQL DW) to build a flexible data warehouse for all their reporting needs, backed by automatic recovery and site-to-site recovery.

Security is embedded into Azure and we want our customers to own and control their data in the cloud. Microsoft has been leading the industry in establishing clear privacy requirements and then consistently meeting these requirements. Azure meets a broad set of international and industry-specific compliance standards, such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1 and SOC 2, as well as country-specific standards like Australia IRAP,

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04

Mar

Azure Government – technology innovation shaping the future

From the state and local level to the largest federal agencies, U.S. Government customers are using Azure to transform how they meet the needs of citizens. We’re seeing strong growth on Microsoft Azure Government, the mission-critical cloud, delivering the latest innovation to over 7,000 U.S. Government customers and their partners. 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.

Our customers serve in every federal cabinet agency and across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. We have supported over 500 million government authentications and every eight minutes we add a new 1 TB drive. Our growing ecosystem includes more than 500 offerings and 350+ partners in the marketplace, recently reaching 2.5M compute usage hours per month.

We are seeing continued momentum in utilizing the cloud for sensitive workloads with recent ATOs issued for the U.S. Air Force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Air Force is rapidly transforming systems with a PaaS-first environment to deliver modern apps and exploit cloud scale and agility to reduce capital expenditures and more effectively focus resources on their mission. The FedRAMP High ATO for ICE

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01

Feb

Virtual Network Service Endpoints and Firewalls for Azure Storage now generally available

This blog post was co-authored by Anitha Adusumilli, Principal Program Manager, Azure Networking.

Today we are announcing the general availability of Firewalls and Virtual Networks (VNets) for Azure Storage along with Virtual Network Service Endpoints. Azure Storage Firewalls and Virtual Networks uses Virtual Network Service Endpoints to allow administrators to create network rules that allow traffic only from selected VNets and subnets, creating a secure network boundary for their data. These features are now available in all Azure public cloud regions and Azure Government. As part of moving to general availability it is now backed by the standard SLAs. There is no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. The current pricing model for Azure Storage applies as is today.

Customers often prefer multiple layers of security to help protect their data. This includes network-based access control protections as well as authentication and authorization-based protections. As part of the general availability of Firewalls and Virtual Networks for Storage and VNet Service Endpoints we enable network-based access control. These new network focused features allow the customer to define network access-based security ensuring that only requests coming from approved Azure VNets or specified public IP ranges will be allowed to

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