Google earns FedRAMP High authorization for more than 100 additional commercial services

The additional services include many that are most in demand for government customers, like AI, zero-trust security, and data and analytics tools.
A window at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. (REUTERS / Stephen Lam)

More than 100 Google commercial cloud services recently received FedRAMP High authorizations, including its Vertex AI platform and other artificial intelligence capabilities, the company announced Wednesday.

Google has several services — as well as its underlying commercial cloud infrastructure — that have previously received FedRAMP High authorizations. But with this latest spate of authorizations, the company adds many services that are in demand for government customers, like AI, zero-trust security, and data and analytics tools.

In an interview with FedScoop ahead of the announcement, Leigh Palmer, vice president of technology, strategy and delivery for Google Public Sector, said this not only gives federal civilian agencies that work with highly sensitive data sets — like those in health care, law enforcement, finance and emergency response, among others — a long list of new tools to work with, but they’re also hosted in a commercial environment, which she said comes with added benefits.

“These are certified on our commercial cloud, not a separate [government-specific] cloud instance,” Palmer said, referencing the model some cloud vendors have used to create separate cloud enclaves limited only to government work for security reasons. “Which means that you have the full capability of commercial cloud, right? More regions, more elasticity, more data, compute, storage, etc.”


That’s particularly important, she said, as the Office of Management and Budget in draft guidance issued last fall pushes to modernize FedRAMP — short for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program — with more of a focus placed on agencies using commercial cloud services instead of the government-specific offerings.

“Instead of having physical separation, we have logical separation [through] encryption. So we can run the same workloads on our commercial cloud without having to have that physical separation,” Palmer said. “Whenever you have to do that, it’s going to be difficult to keep parity across the environments.”

On top of that, the compute-intensive tools — such as AI — that more and more agencies are beginning to use will stand to benefit from the scale of commercial cloud, she added.

“As you look towards AI and things that are going to require, you know, heavy, massive amounts of compute, it’s going to be much more cost-effective and easy for our customers to do that in a commercial cloud than in [a government-specific] environment,” Palmer said.

On the topic of the federal government’s recent work to modernize FedRAMP, she added that Google is “really optimistic and encouraged by the modernization changes that are happening at FedRAMP.”


“At the end of the day, I think what we all want is more capabilities in the government’s hands faster” and done so safely, Palmer said.

The new authorizations come after Google Public Sector last month announced that defense and intelligence agencies were approved to use Google’s air-gapped cloud platform, Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, to process top-secret workloads. Palmer called the achievements “complementary” to one another, and added that Google is continuing work to add more services that meet the Department of Defense’s IL-5 compliance for some of its most sensitive but unclassified workloads.

Billy Mitchell

Written by Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell is Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Scoop News Group's editorial brands. He oversees operations, strategy and growth of SNG's award-winning tech publications, FedScoop, StateScoop, CyberScoop, EdScoop and DefenseScoop. After earning his journalism degree at Virginia Tech and winning the school's Excellence in Print Journalism award, Billy received his master's degree from New York University in magazine writing while interning at publications like Rolling Stone.

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