Oracle has been cleared to carry protected-level public sector data under the federal government’s hosting certification framework, joining Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and others as a ‘certified strategic’ cloud provider.
The tech giant quietly joined the list of certified strategic cloud providers this week, as the deadline for agencies to comply with the framework, introduced to mitigate against supply chain risks, rapidly approaches.
From July, agencies will be required to host protected and whole-of-government systems only with certified strategic or ‘certified assured’ data centre, cloud service and Software-as-a-Service providers.
Employment minister Stuart Robert has previously said this will mean “all citizen data ... stored in certified data centres within Australia”, with “any cloud provided data ... served by certified cloud providers in certified data centres within Australia”.
Certified strategic is the highest level of assurance under the framework, requiring providers to allow the government to specify ownership and control conditions, whereas certified assured offers safeguards if ownership, controls or operations change.
Agencies are also able to use uncertified service providers for "non-sensitive data, or where their internal risk assessment determines it is appropriate to do so", but have been warned they offer only minimal protections.
The Digital Transformation Agency is yet to accredit any certified assured or uncertified providers, more than a year after releasing the hosting certification framework and less than eight weeks before the grace period ends.
Oracle joins six other certified strategic cloud providers to be accredited to date: AWS (Australian region), AUCloud, Sliced Tech, Vault Cloud, Microsoft (Australian region) and Kyndryl (Canberra and Sydney regions).
The accreditation comes more than a year after Oracle teamed up with Canberra-based data centre provider Australian Data Centres to provide its suite of public cloud services to federal government agencies.
Australian Data Centres was one of the first three data centre providers to earn the coveted certified strategic status in June 2021, along with competitors Canberra Data Centres and Macquarie Telecom.
A number of other data centre providers have since been accredited under the framework, either at a facility or enclave level, including NEXTDC, Equinix, Fujitsu, DCI Data Centres and, most recently, AirTrunk.
Oracle declined to comment when contacted by iTnews.