The Australian Government has certified four Cloud companies under its renewed hosting certification framework.

AUCloud, AWS (via its Sydney Region), Sliced Tech Pty Ltd, and Vault Cloud are all now cleared to supply cloud hosting services to Australian Government bodies.

Introduced in March as part of the whole-of-government hosting strategy, the framework requires Government agencies to host data and applications in facilities that meet defined security, risk management, and risk mitigation standards. The Government said the Framework helps agencies to “mitigate against supply chain and data center ownership risks” and enable them to “identify and source appropriate hosting and related services.”

The Australian Government announced in June it had certified Australian Data Centres, Canberra Data Centres, and Macquarie Telecom against the framework. In August it added Equinix, Fujitsu, and NextDC to the list of certified data center providers.

This week The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) updated its certified providers to include a number of Cloud companies. AUCloud, AWS, Sliced Tech, and Vault Cloud have all now received certified strategic status.

Certified strategic is the highest level of assurance under the framework, and requires data centers and managed services providers to allow the government to specify ownership and control conditions.

“AWS is pleased to be certified as a strategic hosting provider in the Australian Government’s Hosting Certification Framework,” Iain Rouse, director of AWS’s Public Sector business in Australia and New Zealand, told ARN. “We look forward to continuing to work with the government to ensure they have access to safe, secure, and innovative cloud services."

ZDNet notes that these are the first set of certified Cloud providers for the federal government since July last year after its previous certified cloud list was scrapped following the Australian Signals Directorate’s recommendations.

Australia’s whole-of-government hosting strategy has been in development since 2019 partly to ensure standardization across Government, but also to ensure data sovereignty.

Since Chinese investors took control of data center company Global Switch over a three-year period beginning in 2016, the Government has been on a migration journey, moving data and applications out of the company’s data center in Ultimo, Sydney, and into facilities owned by other providers.

This January, the Australian Securities commission said it would leave and move to Canberra Data Centres, joining many of the other fleeing agencies including Home Affairs, the Australian Tax Office, and the Defence Department.

The Australian Government set a new target date of July 2022 for federal agencies to leave Global Switch’s Sydney data center on grounds of national security, having missed the previous goal of September 2020.

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