U.S. Intelligence Community Gets Its Own AWS Cloud -- Private, Of Course

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) today announced that it now runs a private cloud for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

"In order to better meet the needs of this unique community, we have set up an AWS Marketplace designed specifically for them," said AWS spokesperson Jeff Barr in a blog post today. "Much like the existing AWS Marketplace, this new marketplace makes it easy to discover, buy, and deploy software packages and applications, with a focus on products in the Big Data, Analytics, Cloud Transition Support, DevOps, Geospatial, Information Assurance and Security categories."

Without specifying exactly what federal agencies comprise "this unique customer base," Kate Miller said in her own APN Partner Network blog post that interested potential publishers must perform several steps to become a seller on the new marketplace:

  • Your products must be available in the commercial AWS Marketplace.
  • You must submit a separate U.S. Intelligence Foreign Ownership Control and Influence (FOCI) adjudication package.
  • Ensure that your products work in the Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) space; this means that your products do not make any calls to the public Internet and do not attempt to access any external resources.

Yet another blog post -- this one on the public sector site -- said the AWS Marketplace brings value to government organizations via the following:

  • Selection: Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) or Authorized Resellers can list within government constraints, allowing our government customers to find, purchase, and deploy software using hourly utility computing or annual subscription offerings (see below for steps to get products in the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC).
  • Fast procurement: Buy only what is needed with pay-as-you-go pricing.
  • Easy deployment: Customers can launch products using the AWS One-Click deployment feature within the AmazonElastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) console, along with testing and evaluating software easily.

"Selling directly to the Intelligence Community can be a burdensome process that limits the Intelligence Community's options when purchasing software," Barr said. "Our goal is to give the Intelligence Community as broad a selection of software as possible, so we are working to help our AWS Marketplace sellers through the onboarding process so that the Intelligence Community can benefit from use of their software."

Barr said that potential sellers can look to AWS for help and advice after completing step one of the process: having a product listed commercially on the regular AWS Marketplace. Sellers can e-mail AWS for assistance. "We'll help with the paperwork and the security and do our best to get you going as quickly as possible," Barr said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.