When Does AWS GovCloud Make Sense?


With GovCloud, AWS has successfully managed to revolutionize the game by providing an extensive and surefire way to not only implement but also manage business technology infrastructure. By providing services based on their own back-end technology infrastructure, which they have spent over a decade perfecting, AWS guarantees one of the most reliable, cost-efficient and scalable web infrastructures. GovCloud was launched in 2011 to satisfy stringent regulatory requirements for local, state and federal governments. Its efforts to meet regulatory standards and increase feature consistency between its public sector and commercial solutions has led to the addition of dozens of new services and nine new private-sector regions across the planet. This enables the IT departments within agencies to reap similar benefits from cloud computing enjoyed by all other AWS users, such as improved scalability and agility and greater alignment of costs.

Amazon explains that GovCloud tackles specific regulatory and compliance requirements such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that regulates how defense-related data is stored and managed. In order to guarantee that only designated individuals within the United States have access, GovCloud segregates the data both physically and logically. AWS GovCloud is not limited to the government agencies; the region is also available to vetted organizations and contractors who operate in regulated industries. For example, government contractors have to secure sensitive information.

When Does AWS GovCloud Make Sense?

I. High Availability Is Important to Mission Critical Applications

Building a highly available, reliable infrastructure on an on-premise data center is a costly endeavor. AWS offers services and infrastructure to build fault-tolerant, highly available systems. By migrating applications and services to AWS GovCloud, agencies not only benefit from the multiple features of cloud computing but also instantly reap improvements in the availability of their applications and services. With the right architecture, agencies get a production environment with a higher availability level, without any additional processes or complexity.

Some of the services GovCloud users can access to get this easy out-of-the-box redundancy, durability and availability include: EC2 coupled with auto-scaling – for scalable capacity computing; VPC – to provision private isolated AWS sections; Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) – to automatically distribute incoming application traffic across multiple EC2 instances; direct connect – to establish a private connection between an AWS GovCloud region and your data-center; and Elastic Beanstalk – to deploy and scale web apps and services.

II. Big Data Requires High-Performance Computing

User productivity and experience are key considerations, and both hinge on the performance of applications in the cloud. Government agencies typically amass huge sets of data that carry crucial insights. AWS GovCloud allows you to spin up large clusters of compute resources on-demand, while only paying for what you use and obtaining the business intelligence required to fulfill your missions and serve your citizens. Additionally, GovCloud avails low-cost and flexible IT resources, so you can quickly scale any big data application, including serverless computing, Internet of Things (IoT) processing, fraud detection, and data warehousing. You can also easily provision the right size and type of resources you require to power your big data analytics applications.

III. High Data Volume Means Higher Storage and Backup Needs

A major consideration when migrating to the cloud is secure, scalable storage. For government organizations, this need is amplified, not only because of the volume of data that needs to be stored, but also because of the sensitive nature of said data. AWS provides scalable capacity and direct access to durable and cost-effective cloud storage managed by U.S. persons, while satisfying all security requirements. GovCloud users have access to multiple storage options, ranging from high-performance object storage to file systems attached to an EC2 instance. AWS also offers a native scale-out shared file storage service, Amazon EFS, that gives users a file system interface and file system semantics. Amazon Glacier and S3 provides low-cost storage options for the long-term storage of huge data sets.

Customers can have the information stored in Redshift, Glacier, S3 and RDS automatically encrypted with a symmetric-key encryption standard that utilizes 256-bit encryption keys. Additionally, using very simple approaches, IT systems can be backed up and restored at a moment’s notice.

IV. Critical Applications Should Scale With User Demand

Predictable workloads may require reserved instances during spikes, and such payloads need on-demand resources. AWS utilizes advanced networking technology built for scalability, high availability, security and reduced costs. Using advanced features such as elastic load balancing and auto-scaling, GovCloud users can easily scale on demand. Auto-scaling enables government agencies to maintain application availability by dynamically scaling your EC2 capacity up or down depending on the specified conditions. Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) provides re-sizable, secure compute capacity in the cloud. It is built to make web scale computing simpler, enabling users to efficiently and quickly scale capacity as computing requirements change.

In Closing

As the number of government organizations moving to the cloud continues to rise, these organizations will require a platform for compliance and risk management – a place where confidential, sensitive or even classified data and assets remain secure. GovCloud provides a quick way for government agencies to host and update cloud data and applications so that contractors and employees can focus on service delivery rather than managing server infrastructure.

Government organizations can take full advantage of GovCloud and all that it has to offer via content collaboration software. FileCloud on AWS GovCloud is an ideal solution for government agencies that want complete control and security of their files.
Click here to learn more about FileCloud on AWS GovCloud.


Author: Gabriel Lando