Amazon Net Providers Pronounces Second 'High Secret' Cloud Area – Nextgov

(AP Photograph/Reed Saxon, File)

By Frank Konkel
Amazon Net Providers right now introduced a second cloud computing area designed particularly to host the federal authorities’s high secret categorized info.
Known as AWS High Secret-West, the area supplies extra geographic availability and resiliency of AWS cloud companies for U.S. intelligence and protection businesses, together with the CIA and NSA, on which to host, analyze and run functions.
AWS High Secret-West is the corporate’s second business cloud accredited for categorized workloads that’s air-gapped—or shut off—from the remainder of the web. The brand new area joins AWS High Secret-East, which has been internet hosting the federal government’s high secret knowledge since 2014.
AWS didn’t disclose the situation of the area besides to say it’s “over 1,000” miles away from AWS High Secret-East, which is positioned in northern Virginia.
“With two high secret areas, clients within the U.S. protection, intelligence and nationwide safety communities can deploy multi-region architectures to attain the best ranges of resiliency and availability important to their most important nationwide safety missions,” AWS Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Max Peterson stated in a weblog submit Monday. “As well as, they achieve proximity to new geographically distributed workloads and mission customers.”
The brand new cloud area comes nearly eight years after AWS gained a $600 million cloud computing contract with the CIA. Since then, the intelligence neighborhood’s use of business cloud companies has elevated considerably, as has AWS’ investments—together with its new area—serving these distinctive cloud clients.
As AWS’ market share grows, solely considered one of AWS’ present rivals for presidency enterprise—Microsoft—has achieved authorities accreditations essential to host high secret categorized knowledge, which the corporate introduced in August.
In November 2020, the CIA introduced AWS and Microsoft have been two of 5 corporations—together with IBM, Oracle and Google—to be awarded its Business Cloud Enterprise, or C2E contract, which procurement paperwork indicated could possibly be value “tens of billions” of {dollars} over the subsequent 15 years. After canceling its Joint Enterprise Protection Infrastructure cloud contract, the Pentagon introduced in November that AWS, Microsoft, Oracle and Google will bid on its upcoming multibillion-dollar Joint Warfighting Cloud Functionality, or JWCC contract.
The NSA, too, is investing in business cloud computing companies, awarding AWS a contract value as much as $10 billion in August to modernize its major knowledge repository. Microsoft challenged the award with the Authorities Accountability Workplace, which in the end advisable in October the company reevaluate proposals from each corporations.
In an October interview with Nextgov, appearing Intelligence Neighborhood Chief Info Officer Mike Waschull provided some perception into why business cloud computing is figuring so closely into protection and intelligence company missions. Washull stated the cloud supplies a scalable setting the place a mixture of open-source and categorized datasets may be introduced collectively for numerous functions, comparable to processing, storage or evaluation, and famous that cloud additionally helps within the retirement of outdated {hardware} programs and knowledge facilities.
“We’re wanting actual onerous on the knowledge facilities that we’ve and the place it’s acceptable, we’re attempting to deliver these to closure, if you’ll, and retire them in favor of transferring to the business cloud,” Waschull stated.
The battle for the federal government’s cloud {dollars} is a microcosm of the jostling for dominance in a worldwide cloud computing market that would quickly be value $1 trillion as almost each main non-public sector firm invests in cloud companies. Third events like Gartner have rated AWS as cloud computing’s market chief because the expertise’s nascent days, however the firm was additionally the primary to particularly service authorities clients.
In 2011, AWS launched GovCloud (US-West), turning into the primary business cloud supplier to fulfill the federal authorities’s stringent safety necessities and compliance designations to host unclassified authorities workloads. As we speak, almost each main cloud service supplier gives authorities options for unclassified workloads in a rising federal cloud market Bloomberg Authorities estimates is approaching $7 billion, however Peterson stated AWS isn’t slowing its tempo of innovation.
“As we speak, with the launch of AWS High Secret-West, we proceed our assist for mission workloads that span the total vary of U.S. authorities classifications,” Peterson stated. “As we proceed to innovate with our clients, they achieve instruments to attain their missions with larger pace, agility, and safety.”
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