Amazon Rolls Out AWS GovCloud

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Will Amazon Web Services be the place where the government meets the clouds? (Photo: Kevin Dooley)

On Tuesday Amazon Web Services rolled out a new GovCloud (US) region to provide customized cloud computing services for U.S. Government agencies and contractors with data that is subject to regulatory and compliance requirements.

Exclusive use

Amazon will enforce that AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by U.S. persons only, allowing government agencies to manage more heavily regulated data in AWS while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements. The new Region offers the same high level of security as other AWS Regions and supports existing AWS security controls and certifications such as FISMA, SAS-70, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS Level 1.  Services available in the AWS GovCloud include the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Block Store (EBS), Virtual Private Cloud, Identity and Access Management and CloudWatch.

Cloud First

Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels notes the current economic state of reducing costs in the U.S. Government and that the “cloud is projected by 2015 see a reduction of 30% in IT infrastructure costs, which amounts to $7.2 billion.”

The Cloud First strategy outlined late last year will surely impact GovCloud, Vogels writes at All Things Distributed. “AWS’s strategy of continuous price reduction as additional economies of scale are achieved, many of these cost saving may become even more substantial without the agencies have to do anything.”

Several government agencies have ‘big data’ needs and will be an early use case example for GovCloud, with massive data processing and analytics use. To avoid the automation around the signup process and ensure the security of this particular region, customers will need to sign an AWS GovCloud Enterprise agreement in addition to the regular signup process.

Use Cases

Additional use cases listed on the GovCloud web site include enterprise applications such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft, High Performance Computing and Analytics, Storage and Disaster Recovery, and Web Applications.  Amazon notes that “in order to help make it easier to build and implement these and other use cases in AWS GovCloud, we are working with a wide range of system Integrators (SI) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who have the capability to support ‘US Persons’ only and ITAR applications. These solution providers include Deloitte, Oracle, Adobe, Red Hat, CACI, ESRI, URS, GTSI, Smartronix, Appian, Accelera Solutions, Aquilent, BlueRiver IT, Intelligent Decisions, Leverage IS, and Optimos.”

The new GovCloud region is on the west coast. Amazon will hold live events on August 30th and September 14th in Herndon, Virginia as well as Webinars on August 24th and September 7th. Amazon’s Senior Vice President of AWS Andy Jassy was a keynote speaker Tuesday at the 2011 NASA IT Summit.

Image of the Capital from Kevin Dooley via Flickr.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, wow, wow! Isn't this a smart move? Now our government no longer has an excuse NOT to do their work. But knowing how gravely important these types of data are, I am definitely hoping Amazon has put up the best backup and security plan there is on the planet.