AWS Touts Modular Data Center for Defense Department

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The cloud giant’s latest offering is specifically for Defense Department customers through its new $9 billion cloud contract.

Amazon Web Services on Monday announced its Modular Data Center, a cloud offering now available to Defense Department customers operating in austere, low-latency conditions, such as battlefields and areas in crisis.

Offered under the Pentagon’s $9 billion Joint Warfighting Capability Contract, AWS’ Modular Data Centers are built using ruggedized containers that are designed to be shipped—from rail to truck or via military cargo aircraft—to almost anywhere on Earth, including regions the Pentagon refers to as Disconnected, Disrupted, Intermittent or Limited, or DDIL, environments.

Once operational, the modular data centers provide users with cloud computing and storage capabilities and access to various AWS services and devices. They are equipped with components essential for data center operation, including power, networking, and connection and cooling capabilities. The service is supported by AWS’ main government-focused regions, AWS GovCloud US-West and AWS GovCloud US-East.

“As the digital battlefield continues to evolve, our defense customers increasingly need access to cloud capabilities at the tactical edge, including DDIL environments all over the world,” Liz Martin, director of the Defense business at AWS, said in a statement to Nextgov. “With AWS Modular Data Center, we are converting data centers from fixed infrastructure that is difficult to build and manage in remote environments, to a comprehensive service that is simple to use, secure, cost-effective and can respond to large-scale compute and storage needs wherever the mission demands.”

The JWCC contract, which the Pentagon awarded to AWS, Google, Microsoft and Oracle in December, required cloud providers to meet critical requirements for accessing, processing and sharing data at the tactical edge. For years, Defense officials have clamored for more capabilities at the edge, forced instead to rely upon building brick-and-mortar data center infrastructure. Defense Department customers can now issue task orders against the JWCC contract.