Amazon Introduces AWS GovCloud for US Government Agencies and Contractors

Due to stringent requirements, many government agencies have been slow to adopt the cloud, but Amazon’s new AWS GovCloud could be the solution. AWS GovCloud is a new secure region specialized for US government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive data into the cloud.

On Tuesday, Amazon’s senior vice president of AWS Andy Jassy introduced the AWS GovCloud at the NASA IT Summit in San Francisco.

Previously, many government agencies with data subject to compliance regulations such as the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) were not able to manage and store defense-related data in a cloud environment that the government mandated be accessible by U.S. persons only.

Government agencies can now manage more heavily regulated data in AWS because GovCloud is physically accessible by the U.S. only while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements.

Amazon says that over 100 government agencies are already taking advantage of AWS. AWS GovCloud offers similar high levels of security as other AWS Regions but also supports existing AWS security controls and certifications such as FISMA, FIPS 140-2 compliant end points, SAS-70, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS Level 1.

Tomas Soderstrom, Chief Technology Officer at at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said “Just as we are early explorers of outer space, JPL have been early explorers of the cloud computing space. We’ve leveraged AWS in our missions for a few years now and were the first to use cloud computing for daily operations. By working with cloud computing providers such as AWS, we gain the flexibility to move quickly, acquire IT resources on-demand and save money by paying only for the resources we use. This implements the JPL CIO, Jim Rinaldi’s, vision of provisioning instead of procuring hardware. As we move more workloads into the cloud, we look forward to leveraging ITAR compliant clouds, such as the new AWS GovCloud for our compliance-dependent projects so we can continue to look to the cloud first for even more missions.”


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