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Microsoft And Thales Create A Private Cloud Offering For The Armed Forces


Microsoft and Thales made the announcement on June 12 of a partnership to create a joint offer in the defense clouds. The French group Thales has already deployed private clouds for some armed forces (not French forces), but an alliance with Microsoft will allow it to enjoy one of the best cloud infrastructures in the world. It will also be the first offer going “to the theater of operation”. The solution will use Azure Stack, the “local” version of Azure, and will be hardened by Thales to meet the specific needs of the military world.


“The public cloud is not adapted for the Defense because there are strong constraints of communication and confidentiality, one needs very particular configurations, explains Marc Darmon, general director of the activity” information and communication systems Despite this, the elasticity of the cloud has become necessary for the armed forces, which is what motivates this offer. ”

The speed and simplicity of this cloud approach could be crucial in the field. “In the theater of operation, without a cloud, we have to install the command posts one after the other and then configure them,” says the leader, “but thanks to the cloud, provisioning is extremely fast, even under strong constraints. We can interconnect resources that have the same interests without having to go through the chain of command, such as linking a drone with people who need the data it generates. ”


The two partners do not hide their global ambitions with this offer. “This is not a simple partnership as we do regularly to respond to a tender, but a real common offer that will be marketed worldwide, says Carlo Purassanta, president of Microsoft France It’s the best of both worlds, and all of our Azure experience in IT security and certification is there, and Thales adds its own expertise in data privacy, communications, and more. ” Thales is the operator of data centers (hosted in headquarters or deployed in the field), it is he who vouches for the integrity of the solution.

The offer is currently being finalized, a process that will take “from a few weeks to a few months”. Consultations with potential customers will however begin tomorrow, and Marc Darmon is confident: “we can have something on the ground at the end of the year if we have a client.” The two companies did not want to expand on potential customers, mentioning simply work “in France and some other scenarios”.


Asked by L’Usine Digitale about Microsoft’s integration of cognitive services in this offer, Carlo Purassanta replied in the negative. “This is not part of the offer today, we could think about it in the future, but there is already a lot to do as it stands.” As a reminder, Google was recently caught in a controversy following its participation in the Maven program (use of artificial intelligence techniques for data analysis) of the US Department of Defense. This “data analysis” component will be managed by Thales via its Guavus subsidiary, as well as other potential high-tech applications (IoT, mobile applications).


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