Microsoft reveals details of Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty

Blue technology 3D graphic | Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty

Microsoft has announced a public preview of its Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, a solution that will enable governments to meet compliance, security and policy requirements while utilizing the cloud to deliver value.

The Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty represents a “significant advancement at the intersection of global demand for innovation and evolving national policies regarding data privacy and control”, according to the company. It is described as providing governments across the world with a secure avenue for modernizing their technology infrastructure and workflows.

The solution is expected to become available in December of this year.

Recent policy changes such as the European Commission’s EU-US Adequacy Decision in July 2023 under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now provide legal support for continued adoption of hyperscale cloud computing by government customers within the EU.

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty features data sovereignty and encryption controls, providing governments with the capabilities to create solutions that can help address regional and national requirements. Its additional capabilities are designed for countries with jurisdictional requirements around sensitive data.

With the start of the public preview having commenced, Microsoft is releasing the Sovereign Landing Zone and policy initiative; automated workload templates for Azure Confidential Computing and Azure Lighthouse as examples for building workloads – using these technologies for sovereign environments to speed learning.

Microsoft is also releasing Transparency Logs, which provides customers with visibility into key operational activities of Microsoft engineers to support customer service and service reliability issues, as well as technical documentation on Microsoft Learn, among others.

Corey Sanders, corporate vice president, Microsoft Cloud for industry, said: “Since the inception of the cloud, government customers have faced limitations with digital transformation, in part because of the need for controls to meet specific national and regional requirements.

“Over recent years, innovators within global governments have asked for alternatives to the heavy capital expense and operational costs of a legacy approach, both to reduce the overhead of owning and operating datacenters and to facilitate modernization.”