Asymmetric Dialogue

Global tech firms pair up to take military defence to the cloud

Thales and Microsoft partner to develop a unique Defence Cloud solution for armed forces.

Based on Microsoft Azure Stack platform, Defence Cloud is a services-oriented and flexible hybrid cloud environment that will be fully cyber secured and adapted to military resilience constraints by Thales.
According to both firms, the modular solution will allow armed forces to keep their sensitive data inside their own infrastructures.
Microsoft Azure Stack which is delivered as an integrated system will be used as the baseline system, into which Thales will integrate its connectivity and end-to-end cybersecurity and encryption solutions. This will handle the most sensitive data, whilst keeping it hosted at MoDs headquarters or deployed in the field. The resulting system will couple the cloud computing power and functionalities of Azure Stack with Thales’s resilient and robust cybersecurity functionalities, necessary to guarantee the security of all data deemed sensitive and classified by armed forces while reinforcing interoperability and operational excellence.
“We are thrilled to announce our unique partnership with Thales to accelerate digital transformation in the defense sector. Our solution, Microsoft Azure Stack will help armed forces in the analysis of huge volumes of sensitive data in order to make break through developments. Together with Thales, we will be able to provide a flexible cloud platform with an unequalled level of security that will help overcome challenges within the defense industry,” Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft.
Combining the Thales and Microsoft solutions, will provide armed forces with a flexible cloud application platform, that goes beyond the basic functionalities of data storage and management, which secured defence clouds do not currently possess. In future applications developments, Azure Stack, augmented by using Guavus Reflex analytics platform, could give users the ability to analyse big amount of data in real-time for intelligence gathering, to use military IoT applications involving various types of sensors on the field or even to exchange data with mobile applications for augmented soldiers.
Thales will further support the specialisation with its expertise in field integration, securing systems to be able to operate in remote locations, or offline, and create systems that are both portable and ruggedised.
This collaborative endeavour will achieve a synergy never before obtained. Armed forces will be able to use the size and scope of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform whilst maintaining a robust and secured cloud for the classified material they need to accomplish their national defence mission, thus achieving maximum flexibility with maximum security.
“This preferred partnership reflects the shared spirit and passion for breakthrough technologies between our two groups and our teams. We are glad to reinforce our strong relationship with Microsoft through this new venture. Together, we will shape this new technological construct perfectly suited to support the evolving security needs of modern armed forces as they accelerate their digital transformation”, Philippe Keryer, Executive Vice-President, Strategy, Research and Technology, Thales.
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