Microsoft Windows Azure now may find it easier to win government cloud contracts with its newly minted FedRAMP approval Susie Adams, CTO of Microsoft Federal in a blog post Monday morning wrote — in perfect government-speak — that Microsoft:
“received notice that Windows Azure was granted the FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO). Windows Azure is the first public cloud platform, with infrastructure services and platform services, to receive a JAB P-ATO.”
Nearly every cloud provider worth its salt is scrambling to attain the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program accreditation because it will soon become mandatory for any company wanting to provide cloud services to the U.S. government which is into year six of its “cloud first”initiative to streamline IT operations and increase efficiency.
While Microsoft claims to be the first public cloud platform, with infrastructure services and platform services, to receive the specific JAB P-ATO, but it is certainly not the first public cloud provider with FedRAMP certification. Amazon Web Services attained its ATO a few months ago, with sponsor agency the Department of Health and Human Services. Other vendors that have achieved Fed RAMP certifications include Akamai(s akam), AT&T(s t), Autonomic Resources, CGI Federal, Hewlett-Packard(s hpq) and Lockheed Martin. IBM(s ibm), Verizon(s vz) and other vendors are working on theirs. Starting next year, all vendors wanting to do government cloud work will need a FedRamp stamp of approval so the race is on.
If you have any doubt about how important government business is to cloud vendors, just check out the free-for-all between AWS and IBM over the CIA cloud contract.