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October 19, 2016

Microsoft puts Azure ahead of Salesforce, AWS and Google in Government Cloud

Microsoft has declared that ‘not all clouds are created equal’ when it comes to US government use, with the company positioning its Government Cloud as a cut above the rest.

By Ellie Burns

Jason Zander, Corporate VP at Microsoft Azure, took to the Microsoft blog to describe why the tech giant’s Government Cloud beat out competitors in its support of the needs and wants of government agencies.

Claiming to have built the ‘most trusted, comprehensive cloud for government’, Mr Zander called upon a recent survey by Penn Schoen Berland which rated Microsoft as the most trusted cloud service provider, over AWS, Google and Salesforce.

If the survey was not enough to sway potential customers, Zander also detailed how Microsoft is the ‘only commercial cloud provider to offer a cloud that is DoD Impact Level 5-ready for infrastructure, platform, and productivity services.’ This was in addition to Microsoft having six dedicated government US data centres, signed CJIS agreements in 23 states and claims of the largest compliance certifications of any cloud provider.

Zander also promised Department of Defense-specific Office 365 and Azure by 2016, highlighting how this will be sure to boost the nearly 6 million Microsoft Government Cloud users across more than 7,000 federal, state and local government customers. The service will also be expanded with two new Azure Government regions in the South West and South Central US.

However, although Microsoft has tried to stamp its authority on the government cloud awsgovcloudus-highrezmarket, rivals are also seeing serious growth and adoption. AWS GovCloud, built especially for government work, has grown 221% year-over-year since 2011 and counts the likes of the CIA as government customers. Google is also among the pre-qualified clouds in the US, with integrators like HP also having certain offerings in place for government agencies.

The race to the US government cloud was kick-started in 2010, when the CIO of the U.S. government, Vivek Kundra, declared that the federal government must move to a “cloud first” policy. Although initial take-up was slow, 6 years on cloud service providers are vying for the attention of government agencies – with Microsoft making the recent bold statement that they are the best.

The UK government has taken a different approach to cloud, with the G-Cloud service designed to ease procurement of cloud services by government departments and promote government-wide adoption of cloud computing.

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