The cloud is back in the news this week, Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform that is, with yet another proof point that the technology is not just empowering business, but government and society in general. As it turns out, the 2016 Iowa caucus results will be delivered via a new, mobile-enabled, cloud-based platform that’s specifically designed to facilitate accurate, efficient and secure reporting. And the platform it’s being built on is—you guessed it—Azure.
The new platform will feature separate mobile reporting apps for both the Iowa Democratic and Republican parties. They will be available on all major mobile platforms and support each party’s unique caucus process. Precincts will use the apps to securely submit results directly to party headquarters. Each party will also have separate results verification apps that will allow headquarters staff to monitor incoming results, identify potential problem areas and connect with precinct chairs if issues arise.
All reported results will be securely stored and managed in the Azure platform. The caucus technology is being created by Microsoft’s partner, //interknowlogy/, a company specializing in UX design and development for mobile and cloud solutions.
With interesting applications like this, it’s no wonder that the cloud is such a hot trend these days—one that continues to gain momentum with each successful deployment. Of course, there are still issues to be addressed; namely security. But this application, if successfully implemented, should go a long way in allaying concerns about data being securely stored and managed in the cloud.
What will also help drive cloud adoption is the work vendors are doing to improve their offerings. In the case of Azure, for example, Microsoft recently announced that its StorSimple 8000 series is now available in the Azure Government Cloud. That availability is part of the Update 1.0 release for the StorSimple 8000 series, which also includes support for other cloud providers and Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) for backend cloud storage, a migration tool kit that enables customers to upgrade from 5000/7000 series devices, and enhancements to the initial device setup and update experience.
Stay tuned for more cloud-related news in the future and in the meantime, to learn more about the Azure enterprise-grade, cloud computing platform or sign up for a free trial go to: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/. You can also learn more about the platform by attending a free webinar or watching the weekly (Friday) 10-minute video series with Scott Hanselman.
This blog about storage and networking is sponsored by Microsoft.
Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.