Some defense news. Microsoft unveiled new products on Monday that the company says will bring the Azure Government cloud to austere, connectivity-limited environments.
It has teamed up with Dell EMC to delivery these cloud services to what is called the tactical edge — remote locations with very limited network connectivity, and where mobility and portability are essential requirements.
The companies announced two new products to enable this.
First is the Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack, and second is the Azure Data Box.
The stack is highly secured, and has optional connectivity to Azure Government, Azure Secret, and Azure Top Secret offerings — making this move geared towards not only the military but also public safety agencies and others that might respond to crises.
Tad Brockway, general manager of Azure Storage & Azure Stack, wrote in a blog post:
“As U.S. government agencies support missions around the world, in remote locations, and beyond the reach of standard infrastructure, new technology is required for mission success. Azure Stack and our Data Box family of products help government agencies with remote operations access the information they need to make decisions at the edge, along with access to the full range of cloud data analytics as connectivity allows.”
This partnership between Microsoft and Dell comes just as the Redmond giant is bidding for a massive, $10 billion cloud computing contract with the US Department of Defense.
Called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, the contract is important as it involves hosting much of Pentagon’s information technology infrastructure for the next 10 years. Whoever wins it would be well-placed to win additional government cloud contracts.
If Azure cloud capabilities can be successfully deployed to edge locations and less connected scenarios like oil rigs, cruise ships and mines, it will be right at home for next-generation applications by the military.
The Dell EMC Tactical Microsoft Azure Stack will be made available in the US in the first quarter, with other countries to follow later in the year.