Cloud

Cloud.gov – The Government Innovation Platform

A key accelerator for USA GovCloud adoption is their own hosting service: Cloud.gov.

A key accelerator for USA GovCloud adoption is their own hosting service: Cloud.gov.

It is the first Government certified distribution of Cloud Foundry, to offer an open source PaaS (Platform as a Service) specifically tailored for the USA public sector.

FedRAMP

For example it is FedRAMP certified and available via standardized procurement channels, with a view to encouraging Agile practices.

The platform is run by 18F, a team within the GSA, and as they write on their blog it is intended to provide a central function that reduces a common burden across government.

In this post they walk through a case study of an implementation, for Performance.gov, that utilizes the platform and highlights a critical benefit – The standardized and accelerated adoption of Digital Government practices that every agency is required to comply with.

Rapidly achieving compliance with a multitude of legislative obligations with much reduced effort is the key theme.

As this video of a presentation by the team describes, of the required 325 security controls required for compliance, Cloud.gov addresses 269 of these, 41 are shared responsibility and 15 are for the customer directly.

It also offers costs reduction benefits. Running through the pricing options. customers such as the Federal Election Commission, saved $1.2m per year, versus their own data centre hosting, when upgrading their fed.gov web site.

In this post they walk through a case study of an implementation, for Performance.gov, that utilizes the platform and highlights a critical benefit – The standardized and accelerated adoption of Digital Government practices that every agency is required to comply with.

PaaS Standardization

Use of a PaaS (Platform as a Service) in this manner provides a foundation for the ‘Platform Business Model’ and enables adoption of what is now known as ‘Cloud Native’ practices.

This is an effect described by Jez Humble in this presentation – Cloud Native in the US Federal Government.

Again he repeats the key message – The platform approach ‘bakes in compliance’, embedding controls and best practices into a standardized environment.

Jez describes how with these compliance controls built into the PaaS layer, combined with Agile development features like push button deployments, teams were empowered to safely speed up their innovation rates, while simultaneously encouraging best practices for distributed system design.

Simple functions like templates for compliance documentation, speeded up work to a matter of weeks versus many months, and automating operational tasks like renewing SSL certificates removed much of the mundane burden, freeing up developers to focus on higher value productivity.

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