Why use Microsoft public cloud for Sovereignty?

Several different cloud computing models, types, and services are evolving to meet the rapidly changing technology needs of organizations. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.

Microsoft's public cloud is also referred to as the 'hyperscale' cloud, because of the size, breadth and depth of scalability, flexibility, agility, resiliency, redundancy, and security it provides. More than other options, the hyperscale cloud enables government customers to better achieve their strategic digital transformation goals and aspirations, enables Microsoft's partner community to serve these customers, and ultimately allows Microsoft to deliver the best possible sovereign experiences. This article walks you through the differentiators that make the public cloud so powerful for sovereign solutions.

Some of the key areas where the public cloud differentiates itself from the other cloud solution strategies include:

Although these values are considered the strongest values of the public cloud, there are numerous vectors that aren't covered at depth in this article, including scalability, cost, sustainability, and others.

Fostering innovation and agility with the latest technologies

The pace of innovation is increasing, with new applications, and algorithms entering the market regularly. When the developers of these applications go to market, they want to reach the maximum number of customers with minimal cost. Their easiest path is the public cloud because it reduces upfront investment, provides instantaneous global reach, and creates an onboarding process that is flawless, fast, and free. The hyperscale public cloud is the venue of choice for innovators, especially when compared to the higher development costs, slower delivery times, more complex and problem-prone deployments, opaque telemetry, and lower margins of on-premises or private cloud offerings.

Public sector agencies must maintain access to this pipeline of innovation to meet rapidly changing citizen needs with the latest and greatest tools. Using on-premises, private cloud, or hybrid cloud technologies risks receiving delayed or partial access, or no access at all, to new capabilities.

Access to advanced cybersecurity

As the Microsoft Digital Defense Report and Security Intelligence Reports show, cybersecurity threats are growing almost exponentially. The attacks have grown in volume and scale and also become more sophisticated, creative, and persistent. These threats make it increasingly hard for individual organizations with only a few cybersecurity professionals to keep up with cybersecurity threats.

Trust is the foundation of cloud adoption, and because security is critical to that trust, cyber defense is a top investment priority. This trust is applicable whether tending to the security tasks on the cloud service provider's portion of the shared responsibility model or facilitating the easy adoption of good security hygiene on the user's side of the shared responsibility model.

The public cloud combines global 24/7 monitoring and best-of-breed security tools integrated into the backbone of the cloud. Massive automation drives a comprehensive approach to patch and reduces risk due to known exposures and zero-day exploits. Adopting zero trust principles reduces the number of breaches and the blast radius of any breaches that do occur. In addition, the hyperscale cloud provides visibility into threats and anomalies across the entire global fabric in a way that an individual corporation or agency can't. This enables hyperscale cloud providers to aggregate early data on emerging threats or attacks and swiftly use them to create AI-enabled defensive measures. Microsoft analyzes trillions of security signals daily to enable automated defenses. Thousands of engineers, researchers, data scientists, cybersecurity experts, threat hunters, geopolitical analysts, investigators, and frontline responders across many regions/countries use these signals to defend customers. Combined, these capabilities can enable the public cloud to be even more secure than an on-cloud solution can be. For more information, read the Cyber Signals blog post.

Accelerating the delivery of essential services

Public sector agencies around the world are confronted with a rapidly changing landscape of challenges and opportunities, while at the same time looking to reinvent their citizen services to deliver the highest quality support to their societies. Regions/countries recognize that their ability to reinvent their public sector depends on digital transformation. They're increasingly realizing that the critical enabler of their digital transformation is the adoption of the hyperscale cloud.

Governments no longer have the luxury to engage in long procurement, requirement development, custom configuration and coding, and deployment cycles that stretch out over months and years. Solutions must be deployed quickly and remain flexible. This agility is critical for public sector success and is delivered best in the hyperscale cloud. Hybrid cloud solutions, though they can offer customers the feeling of on-premises data control, introduce management complexity and

Enabling resilience and redundancy

Governments need reliability and availability of services such as citizen identity and tax systems, and even more importantly, for critical infrastructure and crisis management. Downtime of such systems can have significant societal impact and even loss of life.

To meet the reliability and availability requirements of government customers, Microsoft's public cloud includes the following redundancies and capabilities:

  • Close instrumentation and predictive modeling of equipment failure across a fleet of IT assets allows for accurate prediction of failure for drives, cables, and CPUs so they can be replaced before they fail. Automatic shifting of workloads ensures seamless operation whenever these failures occur.
  • Automated, standardized procedures minimize human error.
  • Individual data centers have multiple redundancies to ensure there's no single point of failure for power, cooling, and networking.
  • Many services such as Microsoft SQL Server have automatic backups to ensure no data loss during outages.
  • Most Azure regions consist of multiple data centers with independent power, cooling, and networking, grouped into Availability Zones. Hence, even complete data center failures don't impact availability of well-architected applications.
  • Your organization can configure services to replicate data to other regions at least hundreds of kilometers away and mitigate full region failures due to major disasters.

All these redundancies make the public cloud more reliable than a private data center. You can easily use these capabilities to create failure-resistant applications without extreme investments in redundant infrastructure.

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