What Is The Microsoft Government Cloud?
The Microsoft Cloud for Government is a comprehensive cloud platform designed expressly for U.S. Federal, State, and Local Governments to meet the U.S. Government’s thorough security and compliance regulations. Microsoft Cloud for Government meets the standards of many government agencies, including FedRAMP, HIPAA, and CJIS, to name a few. It has the flexibility to run in government, public, or private clouds with an integrated open platform. Microsoft Government Cloud was designed to meet the precise requirements of GovCloud.
What does GovCloud mean?
GovCloud denotes all the virtualization products and cloud computing solutions that are established expressly for government agencies, institutions, and organizations.
GovCloud was created to address and administer cloud solutions that meet the needs of IT as well as the operational, financial, and strategic objectives of the United States government.
What Can Microsoft Government Cloud Do for You?
Depending on the type of work you do – and who you work with – Microsoft has a wide range of cloud environments to meet your specific needs. Microsoft provides these three types of government clouds:
1. Government Community Cloud (GCC) for local, civilian, and federal government agencies.
2. GCC High for highly classified government users and those doing business with them.
3. DoD cloud for intelligence agencies.
Let’s take a closer look at Microsoft cloud services and solutions for government.
1. Microsoft Azure Government
For businesses, organizations, and agencies looking for cloud computing services, Microsoft Azure provides a directory of hundreds of different services you can use, including:
· Full virtual machines
· File storage
· Services for mobile & web apps
In the past, an organization would host their own infrastructure using their own hardware. If more power was needed, they would have to purchase more server hardware. They would also have to pay someone to manage the hardware and pay for the Internet link to serve its customers or users.
Microsoft Azure gives you the advantage of paying for access to a massive pool of computing resources provided by Microsoft instead of running your own hardware or paying for the use of some someone else’s data center. Azure allows you to host email servers, user directories, web servers, databases, virtual machines, file storage servers, and much more.
Microsoft Azure features smaller upfront costs. Creating your own data center can be expensive and requires hardware, software, maintenance, and skilled workers to run everything. The risk of paying too much for hardware and software, or not having enough IT resources for your business is eliminated.
2. Office 365 U.S. Government
Microsoft 365 for US Government Cloud provides a package that includes Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security features for U.S. Government customers. This service also includes versions for SMBs, educational institutions, customer service employees, nonprofits and more.
These services are designed to meet the security and compliance requirements of the United States government. Many agencies and organizations can benefit from using Office 365 for U.S. Government including local, state, and federal governments, as well as Tribal entities. This product will also work well for the defense industry and their contractors.
3. Dynamics 365 Government
Since the U.S. government has unique and ever-evolving requirements of the public sector, Microsoft created Microsoft Dynamics 365 Government that is available to qualified government entities in the United States. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Government involves the protections provided to the government community cloud aimed at four distinct functions: Customer Service, Sales, Project Service Automation, and Field Service.
Dynamics 365 Government offers a number of excellent features to allow users to interact using Skype for Business. It integrates well with other Microsoft enterprise service offerings such as Office 365 for Government.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Government plans are available for the following types of government and private entities:
· United States federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities.
· Private entities using Dynamics 365 Government to provide solutions or services to a government entity.
· Private entities with customer data using Dynamics 365 Government to meet the government’s regulatory requirements.
Why Is Microsoft Government Cloud Important?
Organizations who provide services for any type of U.S. government entity, whether it be local, state or federal, need to meet the criteria of The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-145. These stringent standards have been put in place to secure both “customer data” and “customer content.”
Customer data refers to all data, including text, sound, video, or image files, that are provided by a customer through the use of the Online Service.
Customer content denotes a specific subset of customer data that has been specifically created by users, such as content stored in databases. This includes, but is not limited to a customer’s private contact information. Content is commonly considered confidential and should not be shared over the Internet without encryption.
Microsoft Government Cloud gives organizations and government entities the security, power, and peace of mind knowing that they are meeting the strict standards required by the NIST. This, in turn, can prevent hefty fines and penalties, plus it protects consumers and others from global hacking scams.