Microsoft is building two cloud-based data centers to host classified government data, according to an April 17 news release.

The centers, serving what Microsoft calls its Azure Government Secret regions, would enable Federal civilian, military, and intelligence agencies, as well as government partners working within “secret enclaves” to store sensitive data through cloud services and expand security capabilities.

The Defense Department (DoD) granted each of the regions Impact Level 5 provisional authorization, although Microsoft now awaits security accreditation from DoD before military branches or the intelligence community can start moving classified data to the facilities.

Microsoft’s announcement follows DoD’s decision to narrow the competition for its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. DoD will choose between the two for the JEDI contract by mid-July.


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