There’s good news for users of GovCloud, an AWS solution tailored to customers who must meet stricter data compliance regulations than the general public cloud provides: They can now keep their data safe with Cloud Protection Manager (CPM), a popular backup and disaster recovery tool for public AWS customers recently expanded and made available for GovCloud.
Although within the cloud, GovCloud was able to provide customers with valuable support for United States government compliance requirements, their environments still weren’t fully protected from failures and data loss. AWS EBS snapshots did serve as a backup mechanism like in any other AWS region, but a powerful backup solution was missing in GovCloud.
This is not the case anymore, as CPM is now available in GovCloud — and just in time before another GovCloud region (US East) becomes publicly available, slated for rollout in 2018. CPM is deployed as an appliance, meaning it’s like a virtual device inside a customer’s account, and therefore inherits all regulatory and security measures that protect the containing region. In a game changing development, a CPM instance in the new GovCloud eastern region will meet all the same regulations.
What is GovCloud
Cloud computing has become an essential tool for processing large datasets and handling scalable workloads in regular enterprises. In GovCloud, both the existing western and upcoming eastern regions are isolated and staffed by vetted employees and U.S. citizens. Amazon has strived to meet the hiring standards and regulations required of government contractors.
Due to many regulations, until GovCloud launched in 2011, government customers in federal agencies could not take advantage of the expansive computing available to public cloud customers at Amazon. Now, by providing a fully compliant solution, Amazon can safely and legally service these customers on both coasts.
The new eastern region, like the old western region, will have to meet requirements set out by organizations and agreements such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), Department of Defense, and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).
Potential Users in the East Coast and Washington D.C.
Expansive and scalable cloud computing offers an affordable and efficient solution for organizations with a range of workloads. In the case of government contractors, workloads often vary and a cloud architecture reduces time spent managing and building infrastructure. The costs in savings in human capital alone make GovCloud an attractive option for new federal customers.
In addition, many of the existing government customers are eager to make use of the eastern region, like the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). AWS provides a regulatorily compliant method to deploy incredibly large and complex computations within the cloud. Other agencies, however, may make use of Amazon’s Rekognition service, which leverages powerful neural network models to assist in facial and object recognition.
AWS Lambda will also be available in the new region. Lambda is a service that allows for serverless computing, which eliminates the burden of maintaining operating systems and servers for developers. One current use of Lambda is for analyzing large amounts of stock market events.
Organizations like the CSRA have used GovCloud for large data migration projects to support the company’s larger and more complex government clients. The addition of a second region for data storage will help to improve their disaster recovery strategies and strengthen their already powerful hybrid cloud architecture.
For many use cases, a powerful and flexible backup tool is needed. CPM offers block level incremental backups that can run continuously. This allows clients to quickly recover files and objects from very recent versions. In addition, customers can use production application backups without interrupting service thanks to a large amount of supported database and enterprise technologies.
CPM also offers policy based backups, which enable customers to define specific schedules for regular backups, to create snapshots, and to retain periods for archived backups. CPM boasts a 30-second time for recovery of any file or service that’s backed up through their appliance. This tool is vital for many AWS customers who are bound to strict compliance laws on data recovery and long term archive management.
Many AWS federal customers, both new and old, are excited to see Amazon’s commitment to expanding GovCloud services. By providing federal agencies access to expansive computing power and services that are compliant with the necessary regulations, GovCloud customers can enjoy continued and efficient computing. Thanks to CPM, customers will also be able to enjoy the same powerful backup solution that has gained popularity among enterprise public cloud customers.