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Recovery.gov Now Floating in Amazon's Cloud

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 13 2010

Technologists inside the Obama administration have embraced the idea that cloud computing -- where, basically, digital information is scattered across different hosts -- carries enormous efficiencies. The big news on the cloud front today is that the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board is moving its Recovery.gov site "to the cloud." As a flagship online project of the Obama White House, a Recovery.gov in the clouds could serve as a proof of concept throughout government. Blogs U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra:

Recovery.gov is the first government-wide system to move to the cloud. The move is part of the Administration’s overall efforts to cut waste and fix or end government programs that don’t work. By migrating to the public cloud, the Recovery Board is in position to leverage many advantages including the ability keep the site up as millions of Americans help report potential fraud, waste, and abuse. The Board expects savings of about $750,000 during its current budget cycle and significantly more savings in the long-term.

The particular cloud home to Recovery.gov is, as of the tail end of last month, Amazon's EC2 service. In a press released, the RAT board said, "The improved computer security includes, but is not limited to, greater protection against network attacks and real time detection of system tampering." Essentially, here, the federal government is outsourcing hardware provisioning and network management to Amazon, something they've proven themselves particularly good at. The expectation is that this frees the feds to get Recovery.gov up to snuff.