Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High-Which One is Better?

Summary: To ensure compliance with the federal cybersecurity regulations, you company must have to choose either Microsoft GCC or GCC High. In the Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High competition, which one is performing well and which one will perform well in the future?

Microsoft has advised companies to use Microsoft 365 Government Cloud Computing (GCC) High to ensure their DFARS 7012 and CMMC Level 3-5 compliance. However, they can also use Microsoft GCC to ensure these compliances but there are some risks associated with it. This article will help you to known which version is the best as a long-term choice for your organization. Let’s start our analysis on Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High.

Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High for CMMC, DFARS, and ITAR compliance

A company can achieve CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) compliance by using either commercial, Microsoft GCC, or Microsoft GCC High. Similarly, a company can become DFARS (Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement) 7012 compliant by using only Microsoft GCC or GCC High. Last but not least, a company must have to use only GCC High to ensure its ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) compliance.

In terms of CMMC compliance, it is not mandatory to use M365 GCC High, but it is highly recommended to be considered in your overall compliance strategy based on its more benefits as compared to M365 GCC. In the competition of GCC Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High, GCC High is running ahead of the GCC in terms of DFARS, ITAR, and CMMC compliances.

Some Differences between GCC and GCC High

GCC High is the only cloud platform of Microsoft that ensures that all data reside in the US. It also ensures that the data is checked by US officials. It is also an ideal platform to save CUI at a corporate and government level. GCC High is rated at DISA IL5 (Defense Information Systems Agency Impact Level 5) which is the primary requirement for storing CUI at the government and corporate levels. Moreover, it is equivalent to FedRAMP that makes it superior to other available cloud computing platforms like Commercial and GCC. Microsoft GCC and Microsoft Commercial lack these important characteristics that are required for the overall compliance of an organization to cybersecurity standards.

Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High, which one is recommended?

The features and functionalities of both government cloud computing platforms are quite similar. The major difference between these two is their compliance with the systems and government agencies. Microsoft GCC is compliant with federal, criminal justice, and federal taxation systems while Microsoft GCC High is compliant with DFARS, DoD Security Requirements Guidelines, ITAR, and CMMC. The organizations are recommended to first find out their requirements and then make a decision to go for one of these two platforms. Some features in GCC are not available in GCC High. Similarly, some features in GCC High are not available in GCC. So, a company should know what it wants to accomplish before making a choice. For example, the guests are allowed in chats in GCC but they are not allowed in GCC High. If you require guests in chats then you should go for GCC, otherwise, you should choose GCC High.


In the discussion of Microsoft GCC vs Microsoft GCC High, it has been found that both platforms offer similar features apart from some differences. Your organization should first analyze and identify the organizational needs and eligibility before choosing one of these two platforms. For CMMC, ITAR, and DFARS compliance, GCC High offers better features as compared to GCC.