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AWS GovCloud gets more enterprise services

Amazon Web Services has added several applications to the GovCloud environment, an isolated AWS cloud region designed to host sensitive data, regulated workloads and meet federal  security and compliance requirements, including those of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. At the AWS Public Sector Summit, Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon, described services recently made available to government customers using GovCloud.

Amazon Inspector is on-demand automated security assessment service that helps AWS customers improve the security of their Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud environment. After performing the initial assessment that looks for deviations from best practices, Amazon Inspector produces a prioritized list of security vulnerabilities that can be reviewed directly or as part of detailed assessment reports.

“Inspector makes it simpler to automate your FedRAMP and  [Defense Department] security compliance by automatically assessing and checking for vulnerabilities and deviations in best practices from those architectures,” Carlson said in her keynote presentation.

Also newly available in GovCloud, Amazon Aurora is a relational database solution that is MySQL and PostgreSQL compatible. The software-as-a-service offering provides up to three times better performance than the typical PostsgreSQL database and adds more scalability, durability and security, company officials said.

“Aurora is the fastest growing [service] in the history of AWS, and now GovCloud customers have a new option for their relational database placement and scalability,” Carlson said.

Amazon Translate is also now available on AWS GovCloud. The service offers fast, high-quality language translation through deep-learning models. Public-sector customers can use the low-latency translation for use cases that require real-time, on-demand translation of user-generated content, such as live chat for citizens with limited English proficiency. Amazon Translate can also be used to translate existing texts in a variety of languages for easier analysis.

Government users can also now tap into AWS Deep Learning AMIs on GovCloud. The Amazon Machine Images can help machine-learning practitioners quickly build AI applications using popular deep learning frameworks. The AMIs are optimized for Amazon EC2 instances, include NVIDIA GPU-acceleration and are available in Ubuntu and Linux.

Carlson also announced that the VMware Cloud is coming to the AWS GovCloud. The new hybrid cloud service will allow agencies to leverage a common cloud infrastructure on premises and in the public cloud to improve IT efficiency and lower costs. Agencies transitioning to the cloud will be able to run applications on VMware software-defined data center on the AWS GovCloud.

“Through VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud, agencies will be able to augment existing IT infrastructure capacity, enhance continuity of operations and disaster recovery and facilitate faster application development and testing operations, without re-architecting for new infrastructure or retraining personnel on net-new technologies, tools, and processes,” said Lynn Martin, vice president and general manager of government, education and healthcare at VMware.

VMware Cloud on AWS GovCloud is on the path to secure FedRAMP authority to operate, company officials said.

Carlson also provided an update on the second GovCloud facility announced at last year’s AWS  Public Sector Summit. The AWS GovCloud (US-East) will give customers added redundancy, data durability and resiliency as well as additional options for disaster recovery. The region will go live by the end of this year, she said.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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