Today’s state and local governments are continually called on to do more with less. In addition, government entities require 24/7 access to their data, desktops, applications and communications from anywhere on any device, which is why leveraging a government cloud solution is becoming a “go-to” approach.
To no surprise, many state and local CIO’s are still foggy about cloud infrastructure. While most of the benefits of using hosted computing services are obvious, it’s still unclear which the right approach is? Is it better to use a private cloud or public cloud? How do you choose the right cloud strategy for your business computing needs? As with most things, there is no “one size fits all” approach to cloud computing.
Below is a feature comparison chart for both ReliaCloud®, OneNeck’s hosted private cloud and Microsoft Azure Government that can assist you with determining which cloud model best suits your business needs.
ReliaCloud and Azure Government Cloud
Extensive hybrid options
Offers public cloud
Offers private cloud
Dedicated connectivity directly into cloud infrastructure
Accessible, local data centers
Global data centers
High LAN bandwidth
Direct integration with colocation
100% VM Uptime SLA
Bare metal compute capabilities
High IOPS, low latency storage
Integration with physical appliances
How Do Azure Commercial and Azure Government Differ?
Azure Government is a unique cloud instance, exclusively for U.S. government agencies and their solution providers including:
U.S. government entities in their governmental capacities
State and local government entities
Partners using Azure Government to provide solutions
Commercial private entities with data subject to regulations
Microsoft has a strict validation program to determine eligibility before organizations can move their workloads to the Azure Government cloud.
COMPLIANCE is the name of the game.
Designed for the U.S. government from the ground up, Microsoft Cloud for Government enables public sector customers in the United States—from large federal agencies to small town governments—to select from a range of cloud computing services. To best address its customers’ specific needs, Microsoft has made significant investment in data centers and is dedicated to meeting IT compliance with U.S. federal and state policies, mandates and requirements.
Microsoft Azure Government delivers a cloud platform built upon the foundational principles of security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency. Public sector entities receive a physically isolated instance of Microsoft Azure that employs world-class security and compliance services critical to U.S. government for all systems and applications built on its architecture. These services include FedRAMP and DoD compliance certifications, CJIS state-level agreements, the ability to issue HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, and support for IRS 1075. Operated by screened U.S. persons, Azure Government supports multiple hybrid scenarios for building and deploying solutions on-premises or in the cloud. Public sector entities can also take advantage of the instant scalability and guaranteed uptime of a hyper-scale cloud service.
Available Services in Azure Government
Refer to the Azure products available by region for available services in Azure Government. In general, most of the services available in Azure commercial are available in Azure Government with the following areas either not available or only a small subset of products available within:
Microsoft is the only Government Cloud provider that has:
DoD Impact Level 5 readiness. Microsoft is the only commercial cloud provider to offer a cloud that is DoD Impact Level 5-ready for infrastructure, platform and productivity services.
Signed CJIS agreements in 23 states. Microsoft has signed Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) agreements in 23 states, covering more than 60% of the U.S. population. This is nearly six times the number signed by our nearest cloud competitor. Microsoft’s leadership in signing these agreements is helping agencies strengthen transparency, trust and community relationships.
Six dedicated government U.S. data centers. Microsoft is the only government cloud with six data center regions (including two dedicated regions for DoD Impact Level 5). Microsoft offers the broadest geographic availability and diversity, including 500-mile geo-redundancy, with regions in the east, west, south and Midwest. And the bi-coastal, government-only data centers offer data replication in multiple locations within the country for business continuity. By comparison, the other major cloud provider only offers one government cloud region in the Pacific Northwest.
Largest compliance portfolio. Microsoft has the broadest and deepest compliance certifications of any cloud provider, with infrastructure, platform and productivity services. In addition to the 23 CJIS states and DoD Impact Level 5 milestones, Microsoft is willing to put its government compliance in writing, including the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) 1075 Encryption Requirements, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP — including FedRAMP High and achieving the first FedRAMP JAB P-ATO through FedRAMP Accelerated), among others. This compliance enables Microsoft to address the breadth and depth of regulations customers require.
Formal eligibility process. Microsoft is the only government cloud service provider with an exclusive, rigorous screening process for every single incoming request to determine eligibility to house data in the Microsoft Government cloud.