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173rd Airborne Brigade jump during Saber Junction 2018.National security mission leaders need the latest tools to deliver on critical mission objectives. At a recent Microsoft Classified Mission Clouds event, I met with customers and partners across the national security community to understand their mission needs and explore how Microsoft capabilities can help them serve their missions and solve their most pressing challenges.

Aligning to meet federal mission need

Microsoft has supported the federal mission for over 40 years. In that time, we’ve continuously adapted to meet evolving needs and requirements of our federal customers.

As I discussed at the Classified Mission Clouds event, today we are evolving again – integrating Microsoft Federal with Microsoft Azure engineering unit, so that we can quickly deliver highly customized solutions for our federal customers. This new organizational structure will allow us to deliver the latest technology innovations tailored to customers’ specific needs. Our goal is to create space for modern mission breakthroughs – delivering outcomes that make a difference, across all our products and for all our customers.

Advancing cloud to support mission priorities

During the Classified Mission Clouds event, we also showcased the significant investments that Microsoft is making in our cloud capabilities. Our goal is to not just deliver an IT infrastructure but to enable customers to use the full range of tools and capabilities to meet specialized mission needs. We combine operational understanding, deep engineering expertise, and breakthrough technology to deliver on this mission cloud.

Microsoft Azure is the foundation of our Cloud portfolio. Our Azure portfolio includes Azure Commercial, Azure Government, Azure Government Secret and most recently Azure Government Top Secret, which is now authorized to operate for the most highly classified workloads. Azure Government Top Secret is available today with more than 60 infrastructure and platform services with many more on the way soon.

Microsoft’s Cloud doesn’t end with Azure – it extends across Microsoft’s full portfolio, from collaboration to productivity tools that agencies relied on to stay connected and operational during the pandemic to advanced analytics and transformational capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning to help decisionmakers solve their most complex problems. We also are investing heavily to bring cloud capabilities to the edge – ensuring that mission operators have the tools they need, wherever they need them. For example, Azure Modular Data Center (MDC) enables the use of Azure from anywhere in the world. The MDC gives customers the capability to deploy a complete datacenter to remote locations and enable customers to run the datacenter with full network connectivity, occasionally connected or fully disconnected. This is a unique, powerful capability that allows customers to access the power of the Azure cloud on their terms, anywhere.

This connectivity extends into space. With Azure Space, we continue to innovate to deliver fast, secure worldwide satellite networking to give mission owners new communications channels and ubiquitous, hyperscale computing environment. Combining our full portfolio with tactical rugged edge devices, Azure delivers cloud intelligence and compute anywhere it’s needed. By aligning and integrating Azure with global satellites and terrestrial networks, our customers have access to the connected intelligent edge.

More Tactical Edge Devices available in Azure Government Secret

Meeting evolving mission needs requires continuous and rapid development. Our engineers are always hard at work to ensure the latest advancements are available to all mission customers. To that end, we recently announced services for several mission-critical devices in our tactical edge portfolio have achieved accreditation at DoD Impact Level 6 (IL6) for Azure Government Secret: Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack Edge, and Azure Data Box.

With this accreditation, Azure Stack Hub and Azure Stack Edge devices are available for workloads at the Secret classification level, bringing AI and machine learning (ML) to the edge. This means harnessing satellite data more rapidly to enable decision-making in disconnected environments. With Azure Data Box available at IL6, mission owners can easily transfer large quantities of data to Azure Government and Azure Government Secret without relying on network connectivity or bandwidth.

Security is at the center of our mission

Protecting our nation from rapidly evolving cyber-based threats is a critical priority, and cybersecurity is foundational to Microsoft’s mission. We recently announced a major investment of $20 billion over the next five years to improve cybersecurity outcomes for all of our customers by integrating cybersecurity by design and delivering advanced security solutions. We also recently provided details on an additional immediate $150 Million investment in technical services across U.S. government agencies to meet our shared cyber responsibility to modernize, secure, and defend. This funding extends Microsoft FastTrack program support to help agencies modernize and establish Zero Trust controls that will raise the security baseline for government agencies.

It is my honor to support our national security partners in defending this nation and meeting important missions around the clock – and around the globe. As always, we are committed to being that partner to further accelerate cloud adoption and digital initiatives to build resilience and transform the way we perform our missions. We are committed to helping you not only fulfill your mission but reimagine it.