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AWS to open GovCloud East facility

Amazon Web Services  GovCloud (US) region went live in 2011, with operations in the Portland, Ore., area.  Now, a GovCloud US-East Region facility is expected to become available to government customers in 2018. Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon worldwide public sector, made the announcement  the AWS Public Sector Summit on June 13.

Like GovCloud US-West region, GovCloud US-East will meet federal compliance requirements, including those specified by International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program Moderate and High, Department of Defense Impact Levels 2-4, the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, IRS1075 and Criminal Justice Information Services.

“The US-West region is a carbon-neutral location, so we decided to build [the original GovCloud] there because of those capabilities,” Mark Ryland, director of solutions architecture and chief architect of the AWS worldwide public sector team, told GCN.  “Since its creation, people have said it’s great, but they would like to see something on built on the East Coast, so we are building a center at a new location.”

Ryland declined to disclose exactly where the US-East facility will be located.

On Tuesday, AWS also announced the availability of Amazon Rekognition in the GovCloud.  Rekognition allows customers to add image analysis to their applications.  Through the application programming interface, customers will be able to detect objects, scenes, faces and identify inappropriate content in images.  Customers only have to pay for the images that they analyze and the face metadata stored using the Rekognition service. 

Ryland also spoke with GCN about the availability of AWS Lambda in the GovCloud region.  First announced in a May 18 blog post, the serverless compute service allows users to run code without provisioning or managing servers.

“Essentially, Lambda delegates everything related to running an application to us except for that snippet of code,” Ryland said.  “That’s why it is called serverless computing; because there’s still a server running there.  It’s not just one that manages, maintains, patches or moves anything around.”

Lambda is currently used by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to perform half a trillion data validations on 37 billion stock market events daily. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory also has plans to run Lambda for AWS Internet of Things and serverless computing on “numerous mission workloads.” the company said.

“It is really beautiful for filing in the gaps in a system, so a lot of our customers use it for that,” Ryland said.  “We also have customers that are building applications from scratch using Lambda.”

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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