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AWS Unveils New Region for Government Customers

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Days after announcing a new corporate office and potentially adding up to 1,500 new jobs in Northern Virginia, cloud provider Amazon Web Services said Tuesday it plans to create a new East Coast computing region built specifically with U.S. government customers in mind.

AWS GovCloud (US-East) is expected to become operational in 2018, according to Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector for AWS.

Carlson, who announced the new computing region at AWS’ Public Sector Summit in Washington, said it would meet a myriad of government customer compliance requirements, including FedRAMP, ITAR, Department of Defense impact levels 2-4, IRS 1075 and others, while providing additional services closer to the largest chunk of the government’s growing cloud market.

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“The upcoming AWS GovCloud (US-East) Region will provide customers with added redundancy, data durability, and resiliency, and will also provide additional options for disaster recovery,” said AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post following Carlson’s announcement.

AWS’ first GovCloud region launched in 2011 and was located in the western United States.

Early federal customers of AWS, such as the departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration, will now have a closer location from which to potentially purchase services. It may be particularly attractive for DOD and military customers, who believe locality is important given the sensitivity of their data sets.

“Government agencies and the IT contractors that serve them were early adopters of AWS GovCloud (US), as were companies in regulated industries,” Barr said. “These organizations are able to enjoy the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of public cloud while benefiting from the isolation and data protection offered by a region designed and built to meet their regulatory needs and to help them to meet their compliance requirements.”

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