Microsoft has announced that government clients will soon be able to run its cloud tech on their own servers.
The move comes as part of an effort to make Azure more appealing to local and federal agencies, with security concerns increasingly coming to the fore for organisations of all shapes and sizes.
“We’ve designed Azure Stack with the scenario of a submarine in mind,” said Tom Keane, Microsoft Azure’s head of global infrastructure.
It has been reported that Microsoft has paired Azure Stack and Azure Government (the firm's cloud specifically tailored for governments) as a response to Amazon's courting of major clients in the public sector. The offering will be made available in mid-2018 with the explicit target being agencies who need on-premise servers, such as military operations or embassies.
As Reuters notes, the cloud computing market is forecast to grow to $74.7 billion in 2018, up nearly 36 per cent from 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Amazon Web Services is currently the leader in the market with a 32 per cent share while Microsoft is in second place with 14 per cent, according to Canalys estimates for the fourth quarter of 2017.
AWS's public sector lead is based on a prominent client base including the CIA.
“AWS had a head start with some of their early investments in public cloud, but Microsoft has since made some aggressive investments and largely closed the gap with AWS,” said Rick Holgate, analyst at Gartner. “Microsoft also offers a more advanced and robust set of business productivity software than AWS.”