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Microsoft and AMD bet big on confidential Cloud computing

File picture: IANS

File picture: IANS

Published Mar 16, 2021


San Francisco - Microsoft has announced to extend its confidential computing options available to Azure Cloud customers in partnership with chip-maker AMD.

The company said it will be the first major cloud provider to offer confidential virtual machines on the new AMD ‘EPYC 7003' series processors.

With the third-gen AMD EPYC CPU-backed confidential computing virtual machines (VMs), Azure confidential computing now enables customers to encrypt entire VMs confidentially, enable confidentiality without recompiling code, and benefit from a host of Azure-specific enhancements.

"Today you can deliver confidential workloads on Azure with the broadest choice of hardware as well as resources spanning virtual machines, containers, SQL, and beyond," the company said in a statement on Monday.

As a founding member of the Confidential Computing Consortium, Microsoft is also an innovator in confidential computing which extends those protections to data running on the processor itself.

"For more than three years, financial services, governments, health care providers, and even messaging companies have been using Azure confidential computing to unlock new scenarios like multi-party machine learning and move their more sensitive applications to the cloud," said Mark Russinovich CTO and Technical Fellow, Microsoft Azure.

The AMD EPYC-CPU powered Azure VMs are fully encrypted at runtime, fulfilling the promise of confidential computing by protecting your data even when it is in use.

"The encryption keys used for VM encryption are generated, and safeguarded, by a dedicated secure processor on the EPYC CPU. This helps ensure that no one, even cloud administrators -- and by extension the workloads, apps, or data in the VMs -- have access to these encryption keys," the company said.


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