by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : April 2014
[BrieFing] Microsoft aims to make its government- centric cloud as close to the commer- cial version of Azure as possible, while offering security assurances such as the FedRAMP seal of approval. The Windows Azure U.S. Government Cloud, plans for which were announced in October, took a step closer to availability last month when Microsoft announced that "private previews" of the service were getting underway. The company said it is working with customers to "identify the workloads that best meet their key scenarios," noting that a limited public preview will follow the private previews. Microsoft's government- only cloud is expected to launch this calendar year. Commercial Azure lets customers spin up Windows and Linux virtual machines, offers storage, backup and recovery services and provides the ability to build and deploy applications. Azure also offers data services via Azure SQL Da- tabase and HDInsight, a Hadoop-based capability. Other features include identity and access management for cloud ap- plications. Susie Adams, federal chief technology advisor at Microsoft, said the company has yet to disclose what particular servic- es will be available when the government version of the cloud launches. The goal, however, is to provide "as much feature parity as possible with public Azure," she noted. Some features, however, won't be duplicated on the government side, such as commercial Azure's content delivery network (CDN). She said government customers can leverage the commercial CDN. A key element that will be replicated from the private Azure is its FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Manage- ment Program) accreditation. Adams said Microsoft will leverage its existing FedRAMP work and apply it to its government community cloud. The company's U.S. data centers are already included in the Microsoft's package, she said, adding that the company's domestic centers will host the government cloud. So, FedRAMP certi cation becomes a matter of adding the government cloud to the existing FedRAMP Authority to Oper- ate. "It is not that heavy of a lift for us," Adams said. Christopher Hertz, founder and CEO of New Signature, an IT solutions provider and Microsoft partner based in Washing- ton, D.C., said the controls and security around Microsoft's public cloud are so rigorous that a government customer could occupy the same community cloud as an enterprise customer without the data co-mingling. But he said there's a desire among governments to have their data treated differently. Microsoft's decision to build a separate community cloud for gov- ernment agencies will "give them extra peace of mind," he said. The public version of Azure joins nine other clouds that have achieved Fed- RAMP JAB provisional authorization, according to the FedRAMP program's list of compliant cloud systems. Microsoft is the only provider with both infrastructure- as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings listed as having JAB provisional authorization. And, indeed, Microsoft views security as a point of differentiation. As for functionality, Microsoft Azure is nearing parity with Amazon Web Services and will start to surpass Amazon in some key areas, according to Hertz. He said Azure already has an edge in the ability to support and manage hybrid cloud envi- ronments. Dan Usher, lead associate at Booz Al- len Hamilton, said he believes Microsoft's government community cloud will initially focus on such areas as website hosting, which could become the service through which agencies gain an introduction to the Azure government cloud. But in the long term, Azure's big data-related ser- vices may prove to be the Microsoft cloud offering with the most impact, Usher said. Microsoft, meanwhile, will continue with its government community cloud preview. Kevin Jackson, founder of GovCloud Network, a cloud computing strategy company in Washington, D.C., said such a testing environment will facilitate cloud migration. "The cloud computing model radically changes the business model for both vendors like Microsoft and users like the U.S. federal government," he said. "Test- ing environments like that being provided by Microsoft are an important aspect of this transition." • Microsoft preps its government cloud BY JOHN MOORE 4 GCN APRIL 2014 • GCN.COM "Cloud radically changes the business model for ven- dors like Microsoft and us- ers like the federal govern- ment. Testing environments like that being provided by Microsoft are an important aspect of this transition." --- GOVCLOUD NETWORK FOUNDER KEVIN JACKSON