Cloud computing represents the next big shift in computing capabilities. The first was client-server computing with the idea that not everything lived in a mainframe. The second was the shift to the web, which made computing more accessible and forever changed the way we find and use information. The third shift was in mobility as mobile devices and portable computers provided connected access even in the most remote areas. Cloud computing takes these advances further by giving information and communications (ICT) departments a faster, less-expensive way to access powerful software and massive computing resources.
Flexibility and choice
Microsoft leads the way in delivering a comprehensive set of trusted, enterprise-class cloud services that can be used in combination with on-premises solutions - providing the flexibility and choice you demand without compromises to security, privacy, and reliability. This enables you to move the ICT services you want to the cloud, when you want, and gives you the option to deliver cloud services publicly or privately. And, for additional flexibility, you have the choice to host your cloud services infrastructure through Microsoft, our partners, or as a self-hosted cloud infrastructure. Microsoft cloud services help you:
Increase IT responsiveness and efficiency. Data-intensive computing in the cloud can be six times faster than in isolated data centers.* And, you can deploy applications more quickly compared to traditional means.
Reduce capital expenditures and operational overhead and provide greater business flexibility. A pay-as-you-go model lets you balance your ICT budget with operational expense spending instead of capital expenses. You can expect to reduce costs associated with server hardware, support and deployment, and power consumption.
Reduce your environmental impact. Consolidating and sharing resources can curb the waste of data center sprawl and reduce power consumption.
Cloud services models
Microsoft’s cloud services can be deployed across the following scenarios:
A private cloud is an internal, service-oriented ICT environment optimized for performance and cost that and deployed inside your data center. Powered by products including Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft System Center, private clouds are deployed to work with existing and new applications while using cloud principles such as elasticity, scalability, and chargeback proportional to use.
A public cloud provides highly scalable and elastic cloud services to multiple customers from Microsoft’s data centers or other service providers’ data centers. These services are flexible and subscription-based, so you only pay for what you use. That way, even when your requirements change, you can predict costs and keep funds allocations on-track.
Windows Azure is the highly-scalable cloud services platform delivered from Microsoft’s data centers. Other Microsoft offerings include Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, Microsoft Office Web Apps, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and more.
This model is a cloud infrastructure shared exclusively by certain groups, such as civil agencies or others with like missions, and managed by the group or a third party. It can be hosted on or off premises.
Organizations using this approach use a public cloud for some services, such as general business needs, and use a private data center for others, such as storage of sensitive data that must comply with federal mandates.
Helping you meet your goals
Microsoft cloud services help you meet your goals for a connected, secure government infrastructure. You can:
Improve transparency while addressing administration goals of scalable, interactive citizen portals.
Collaborate more easily across organizations.
Deliver volumes of data to citizens in useful ways.
Maximize focus on business-critical needs, while reducing ICT costs.
Remain confident in a crisis because cloud applications don't depend on agency servers or on-site staff.