OzTech: AWS beats Microsoft to government’s hosting certification; Australian Army wants to test quantum computing

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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AWS beats Microsoft to federal government’s hosting certification

Amazon Web Services has been certified as a strategic hosting provider under the Australian government’s new hosting certification framework (HCF). The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) announced the four organisations to be first certified as strategic hosting providers. Along with AWS were AUCloud, Sliced Tech, and Vault Cloud—the latter two organisations as well as Microsoft and AWS had been certified with Protected status under the previous certification.

This time, AWS managed to get certified before Microsoft. Under the previous certification, Microsoft received the protected level of certification to handle government classified data in April 2018. In March 2018, AWS announced it had undergone the assessment process but its certification only came nearly a year later, in January 2019.

The HCF was stablished to assist agencies to identify and source appropriate hosting and related services. Organisations can apply for certification, and the list as new hosts are approved.

The framework currently covers cloud services—which is covered by the ‘strategic hosting provider’ designation—and data centre facilities, which has two subsections: certified strategic facility and strategic enclave.

Some facilities from Australian Data Centres, Canberra Data Centres (which is the data centre facility behind Vault Systems and Sliced Tech), and Macquarie Telecom are certified under the strategic facility subsection. Equinix Australia, Fujitsu Australia, Macquarie Telecom, and NextDC are certified under the strategic enclave subsection.

The Australian Army wants to test quantum computing capabilities

The Australian Department of Defence has launched a quantum challenge to test how quantum technology can be applied to the Australian Army.

According to the approach-to-market notice, the army “finds itself in an accelerating global competition to understand, co-develop, and exploit quantum technologies in land operations”. The Australian Army has found that quantum technologies can affect two of the major technological drivers of what it calls accelerated warfare: robotics and autonomous systems, and cyber and information warfare.

The army’s market challenge aims to:

  • See if quantum sensors can detect, locate, and identify electromagnetic emitters with greater precision, range, and bandwidth, whilst reducing (or at least not increasing) detector size, weight, and power.
  • See if quantum computers can identify and classify features in signals and images more precisely and efficiently.
  • See if postquantum cryptography can be practically used to secure communications from the threat of quantum computers.

Submissions close on 22 November 2021, with tests expected to begin in December 2021 and be completed by August 2022.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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