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AWS Plans Second GovCloud Region for 2018

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is preparing to open a new cloud region in the eastern United States that's optimized for government and public sector agencies.

The company's second U.S. GovCloud region is slated to open sometime in 2018, according to a blog post by AWS evangelist Jeff Barr on Tuesday. It will come seven years after the launch of the first GovCloud region, which is located on the West Coast.

Unlike other AWS regions, the GovCloud regions are specifically designed to comply with the rigorous security and regulatory standards that are unique to U.S. government and public sector organizations. These standards include the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which requires, among other things, that data is physically accessible only by U.S. citizens and residents.

According to Barr, like the original GovCloud region, its eastern counterpart "will be isolated and meet top U.S. government compliance requirements including [ITAR], NIST standards, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate and High, Department of Defense Impact Levels 2-4, DFARs, IRS1075, and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements."

The addition of a second GovCloud region will give federal, state and local agencies, as well as government contractors and educational institutions, an additional layer of redundancy and disaster recovery options, Barr noted.

The announcement comes as AWS is in the midst of extending the global availability of many of its services. In addition, the company has previously announced that it is planning to open three more non-government regions -- in Paris, Stockholm and Ningxia, China -- over the coming months.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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