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Microsoft launches Azure Blueprint program to attract government agencies to its cloud

In an attempt to assuage concerns regarding how its cloud software and services designed for government agencies work, Microsoft has released new documentation for potential customers of Azure Government.

Microsoft Azure Government has already earned quite a few certifications acknowledging that it meets the strict requirements of the US federal government. However, for some this is not enough and the company has created its new Azure Blueprint program to help users utilise its cloud in a way that is compliant with government guidelines.

Microsoft Senior Manager, Nate Johnson offered further details regarding the new program in a blog post, saying: “The initial release includes documentation to assist Azure customers with documenting their security control implementations as part of their individual agency ATO (Authority to Operate) processes.

“The FedRAMP Moderate baseline Customer Responsibility Matrix (CRM) and System Security Plan (SSP) template are designed for use by Program Managers, Information System Security Officers (ISSO), and other security personnel who are documenting system-specific security controls within Azure Cloud.”

Azure Government customers also received access to Microsoft's Log Analytics service in Operations Management Suite (OMS) this week. The program manager of Azure, Sarah Weldon, explained how users can now utilise the company's hybrid-cloud management software and services: “It gives you real-time insights using integrated search and custom dashboards to readily analyse millions of records across all your workloads and servers regardless of their physical location.”

To top it off, Azure App Service was also made available to all users of Azure Government users. This bundle offers users additional functionality as it bundles together Azure Websites, Azure Mobile Services and Azure BizTalk Services.

Microsoft's updates to Azure Government come at just the right time, as the company is now facing pressure from competitors such as Oracle and Unisys that are currently attempting to offer their own rival cloud services to the US government. 

Image Credit: Peteri / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.