Microsoft has shaped up to be the only serious challenger to Amazon’s AWS, particularly for government data, which needs numerous special certifications due to its sensitive nature.

Microsoft is currently bidding against Amazon for a massive $10 billion JEDI military cloud contract, and has now announced two new data centres specifically aimed at hosting government data in a compliant manner.

The two regions are currently awaiting certification to host the top secret data, but Microsoft is testing the facility by offering existing customers a “private preview” for unclassified work loads.

The location of the data centres are secret, but Microsoft said they are at least 500 miles apart to avoid compromise by regional issues.

Microsoft also announced that each of its Azure Government regions were granted Impact Level 5, or IL5, provisional authorization from the Defense Department, meaning they can host, process and run analytics on the Pentagon’s sensitive unclassified data.

While Microsoft is not guaranteed to win the JEDI contract, they have already been awarded a number of other large government cloud contracts as the Pentagon goes about modernising their IT infrastructure.

Via Nextgov.com

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