What Is Office 365 GCC High?
Government Community Cloud (GCC) and GCC High are specific service offerings of Azure cloud services and the Microsoft 365 and Office 365 suite designed to ensure compliance with various federal information and cybersecurity regulations. They are available to government agencies and private organizations that are required to comply with regulations such as CMMC, FedRAMP High, DFARS 7012, ITAR, or CJIS Policy.
HOW IS MS365 GOVERNMENT DIFFERENT FROM THE MS365 COMMERCIAL?
The main difference between Microsoft 365 Government and their commercial offerings is that all data for MS365 Government is stored within the U.S. in dedicated Azure Government datacenters. Access to Azure Government data and data centers is limited to screened and background-checked Microsoft employees, and these employees don’t have standing access to customer data – it must be requested each time.
Most features and services available to commercial MS365 tenants are available to GCC and Office 365 GCC High, however, there are exceptions to some application features that use internet-based services. Additionally, future features may be slower to roll out to Government tenants or not available at all due to compliance issues.
Finally, the purchasing process is different. While commercial MS365 licenses can be purchased from a number of vendors, MS365 Government must be purchased directly from Microsoft or a limited number of channels. Organizations must go through a screening process to ensure eligibility, and this has to be renewed each year.