Navy plans shift to single-tenant clouds

cloud data (CoreDESIGN/ 

The Navy is moving to dedicated Microsoft 365 environments for the Navy and Marine Corps to improve its identity and credentialing efforts, according to a department memo.

"The [Department of the Navy] shall establish single service Microsoft 365 cloud tenancy; one tenant for the Navy and Secretariat and one tenant for the Marine Corps," Navy Department CIO Aaron Weis wrote in a memo dated Aug. 31 and released publicly Sept. 15.

Weis explained that using a dedicated Microsoft 365 cloud for the Navy and Secretariat, and another for the Marine Corps would save money, and be the most efficient way to account for users while also allowing for future inclusion of other collaboration and productivity services across multiple networks.

"Moving to single tenancy is the most expeditious way to ensure users are accounted for and migrated to the cloud-based office suite of services offered by Microsoft 365. Single tenancy reduces cost and complexity, enables effective command and control, and increases the efficiency of federation management with external DON tenants," Weis wrote in the memo that was publicly released Sept. 15.

The move is also critical to the Navy and Marine Corps implementing its identity, credentialing and access management strategy, including reducing individual aliases and adopting a "one email for life" posture through single directory management.

"Directory management tools can also serve as a source of identity management for applications re-factoring for cloud that are interested in flexible access management and single sign-on. Starting with these capabilities will allow the DON to clean up identity, and to learn and evolve as our understanding grows," the CIO wrote.

The dedicated tracts, however, won't impede using productivity services across multiple networks, according to the memo. Additionally, the Navy's chief information office said it will review any individual testing, procurement or implementation of Microsoft 365 user groups and realign them to this approach.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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