Microsoft recently announced the Microsoft Cloud OS Network, a new program that will help governments tackle the challenges of transitioning to the national cloud. In my travels since the announcement, I’ve heard a lot of questions from leaders about the Cloud OS Network and why it should matter to them. Here are the five most common questions with my answers.
1. What is the Cloud OS Network?
It’s a worldwide consortium of 25 cloud service providers that have standardized on the Microsoft Cloud Platform. Together, these providers cover more than 90 markets, serving more than 3 million customers and operating 2.4 million servers in more than 425 datacenters. As the world’s leading Microsoft cloud providers, they’re the first out of the gate with the latest technologies. When you work with one of them, you get a public cloud based in Microsoft Azure, one of the world’s largest platforms—and a Windows Server–based private cloud, the world’s most innovative platform.
2. What does the Cloud OS Network mean by “hybrid cloud”?
Think of the hybrid cloud as having three pillars: First there was the private cloud, based in your own datacenter; next came the public cloud enabled by Microsoft Azure and others; and now there’s the service provider cloud, accessible through the Cloud OS Network. By taking advantage of all three pillars, you get a consistent, connected “hybrid” cloud in which you can manage your infrastructure and applications freely, even moving them between clouds.
3. How will the Cloud OS Network handle my security concerns?
Of our inaugural Cloud OS Network partners, six are designing national clouds today—and government specialists from more countries will be signing up. These providers address unique government data security, privacy, and sovereignty concerns by developing solutions that can be certified to specific in-country requirements. And with local datacenters, their solutions will help you keep your data within your own borders.
These providers offer specialized government solutions now:
For an up-to-date list, keep an eye on the Cloud OS Network website.
4. Why this group of service providers?
Many members of the Cloud OS Network have worked with Microsoft cloud services for a decade or more. Not only do they have the in-house skills and experience to deliver the most efficient, scalable, and secure cloud solutions to governments, but they’re also backed by Microsoft’s cloud expertise. Since 1997 when we launched the original Hotmail service, we’ve delivered more than 200 cloud services to billions of people worldwide. Taken together, that’s a level of experience that’s hard to beat.
5. How does Microsoft ensure the quality of these providers’ solutions?
Microsoft gives its Cloud OS Network partners implementation support that other providers don’t get. Only these partners have access to Microsoft intellectual property and solution architects to guide them in designing and deploying the most efficient, scalable clouds in their countries. By working with these select service providers, your government will have the direct support of Microsoft as you get your cloud up and running.
For more answers: Watch the program video to hear straight from the service providers. Or, contact a Cloud OS Network service provider in your country. If there isn’t one, take advantage of a partner in a neighboring country or contact Microsoft to nominate a local service provider to be part of the network. You can also tweet me a question @dmannion, and I’ll respond. Any way you do it, it’s vital to your cloud rollout’s success that you check out this great new program.
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