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Microsoft Unveils Two Secret Data Centers Built for Classified Government Data

• https://www.nextgov.com, By Frank Konkel

Microsoft unveiled two data centers Wednesday designed exclusively to host the government's secret classified data.

Microsoft's announcement is part of the company's plan to compete with Amazon—the only company cleared to host the CIA and Defense Department's secret and top secret classified data—and comes as both companies compete for a $10 billion military cloud contract called JEDI.

While Microsoft's new data centers are operational, the company awaits security accreditation from the Defense Department before military branches or intelligence agencies can begin moving secret classified data to the facilities. But Microsoft is offering a "private preview" for its existing customers in which they can move unclassified workloads to the data centers.

Microsoft did not disclose the location of their data centers, though the company said they are 500 miles apart from each other. In addition, the company announced that each of its Azure Government regions—data centers that specifically support government customers—were granted what is called Impact Level 5, or IL5, provisional authorization from the Defense Department, meaning they can host, process and run analytics on the Pentagon's sensitive unclassified data.

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