Amazon launches cloud service for U.S. government agencies

By on August 17, 2011, 11:30 AM

Online retailer Amazon has announced a new division to their cloud computing service strictly for government agencies and contractors. Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud is designed to comply with strict federal regulations on sensitive workloads.

Previously, government agencies were unable to store data on the cloud that was subject to specific regulations, such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which governs how defense-related data is managed and stored. Material under this specific regulation is only accessible by US persons.

Amazon claims that AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by US persons only, thus allowing branches of the government to now use cloud resources. The new region is said to offer the same high level of security as other AWS divisions and supports existing security controls and certifications.

Several high-profile clients are already using AWS for their mass storage needs. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the US Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board were both named in the press release.

“In March of 2010, the US Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board became the first government-wide agency to migrate to a cloud-based technology infrastructure when it moved Recovery.gov to AWS. In one budget cycle alone, the Recovery and Accountability board was able to save $750,000 by leveraging AWS,” said Teresa Carlson, VP of Global Public Sector, Amazon Web Services. “Today, over 100 government agencies are taking advantage of AWS and we’re excited to continue working with agencies as they implement the Federal Cloud First policy to become more efficient, agile, and innovative through more effective use of technology infrastructure.”

Amazon Web Services (AWS) came to fruition in 2006 after the company realized that their massive servers were heavily underutilized. AWS is an online cloud computing service based on utility computing which is a metered service that charges the customer for only the amount of resources they need and doesn’t require a contract.

Up to this point, little has been released about the internal workings of AWS. We do know that AWS consists of two major components. S3 sells data storage while EC2 sells computing power. Amazon claims to have hundreds of thousands of customers already enrolled in the program, spanning more than 190 countries worldwide.




User Comments: 6

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ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Seeing as how the cloud service was hacked at the same time as the PS3, shouldn't they keep official government documents, records and resources off of a system that has already proven to be compromised?

Guest said:

So you're gonna assume that all cloud services are exactly the same, regardless?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

October 13, 2011: Anonymous just announced their latest hack. They will be releasing 500 pages of cost overrun projections on interstate maintenance in northwest Missouri from 2006-2009. Apparently a cousin of a friend of the one of the members once got a flat due to a pothole while on a cross country trip, prompting this retaliation. When asked if he will be calling for the resignation of Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, President Obama said "Probably not."

DeliciousPie said:

gwailo247 said:

October 13, 2011: Anonymous just announced their latest hack. They will be releasing 500 pages of cost overrun projections on interstate maintenance in northwest Missouri from 2006-2009. Apparently a cousin of a friend of the one of the members once got a flat due to a pothole while on a cross country trip, prompting this retaliation. When asked if he will be calling for the resignation of Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, President Obama said "Probably not."

Anon has press releases from the future?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

DeliciousPie said:

Anon has press releases from the future?

No. I'm just forecasting the eventual outcome of this situation. There will be some security leak, resulting in the dissemination of useless information, which will be touted as a grand victory by the hacktivist community.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Cloud storage and computing is worthless. Its common logic...If you have something you don't want other people to see, then don't put it somewhere it can be accessed by the population.

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