US government agencies get Azure NetApp Files

Microsoft has added Azure NetApp Files to US government region data centres, making it available to federal, state and local agencies.

Azure NetApp Files is a fully-managed Microsoft Azure cloud service based on NetApp ONTAP systems located in its regional data centres. It is currently available in Canada and the USA, in seven of Azure’s 60+ regions, with North Central US region availability expected by the end of 2020;.

Deployment of Azure NetApp Files to government data centre regions started in Virginia, followed by Arizona and Texas deployments. That adds three more regions to the seven listed by Microsoft.

Anthony Lye.

Anthony Lye, NetApp’s SVP and GM for the Cloud Data Services business unit, provided a quote. “Azure NetApp Files is a significant Azure differentiator, and a game changer for all organisations that want to fully harness the value of cloud.”

Lye said in a February NetApp blog: “Microsoft and NetApp co-created Azure NetApp Files … NetApp has an inside track at Microsoft. We are, for all intents and purposes, an engineering team within Microsoft.” 

Azure NetApp Files is delivered as an Azure first-party service, which allows customers to provision workloads through their existing Azure agreement. No additional NetApp ONTAP licensing is required.

Azure also has its own basic Azure Files service with SMB file shares. There are no listed Azure partnerships with other filesystem suppliers such as Qumulo, or WekaIO. Scality is developing scale-out like system for Azure’s Blob object storage service.

Azure Government has US Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) High Baseline level authorisation, meaning it meets security requirements for high-impact unclassified data in the cloud.

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