FAQs

What is Azure Government?

Microsoft Azure Government delivers a cloud platform built upon the foundational principles of security, privacy & control, compliance, and transparency. Public Sector entities receive a physically isolated instance of Microsoft Azure that employs world-class security and compliance services critical to U.S. government for all systems and applications built on its architecture. These services include FedRAMP and DoD compliance certifications, CJIS state-level agreements, the ability to issue HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, and support for IRS 1075. Operated by screened U.S. persons, Azure Government supports multiple hybrid scenarios for building and deploying solutions on-premises or in the cloud. Public Sector entities can also take advantage of the instant scalability and guaranteed uptime of a hyper-scale cloud service.

What services are included in Azure Government?

Azure Government includes the core components of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This includes infrastructure, network, storage, data management, identity management, and many other services.

Azure Government supports most of the same great features that public Azure customers have leveraged like Geo-Synchronous data replication and auto scaling. See the regions page for the most up-to-date services that are generally available.

What is Azure IaaS?

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the Internet. Quickly scale up and down with demand, and pay only for what you use.

IaaS helps you avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing your own physical servers and other datacenter infrastructure. Each resource is offered as a separate service component, and you only need to rent a particular one for as long as you need it. The cloud computing service provider manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure, and manage your own software—operating systems, middleware, and applications.

What is Azure PaaS?

Platform as a service (PaaS) is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications. You purchase the resources you need from a cloud service provider on a pay-as-you-go basis and access them over a secure Internet connection.

Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure—servers, storage, and networking—but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.

PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop, and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.

What is FedRAMP?

The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. This approach uses a “do once, use many times” framework that saves an estimated 30-40% of government costs, as well as both time and staff required to conduct redundant agency security assessments.