Amazon Web Services Now Approved to Host Defense Department Secrets

AP Photo
The Associated Press

The United States Department of Defense has granted provisional authorization for Amazon to host “Impact Level 5” workloads.

The Defense Department and Pentagon’s highest level of unclassified information may now be stored within Amazon’s cloud. According to the company’s official statement:

We are pleased to announce that Amazon Web Services has achieved a Provisional Authorization (PA) by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for Impact Level (IL) 5 workloads, as defined in the Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing (CC) Security Requirements Guide (SRG), in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region.

DDS Director Chris Lynch confirmed that they have “deployed our first ever national security system, or Impact Level 5, to AWS GovCloud,” and expects the results to be dramatic. According to Lynch, “the real impact is that when we are done, we are going to take something that took three weeks down to 15 minutes.”

Amazon Web Services joins Microsoft and IBM as the third company with the authorization to host some of our most valuable information. AWS also boasts that it was the only cloud able to “meet the IL5 security requirements and scale of the US Air Force’s GPS OCX program,” a process which required no less than “200+ Dedicated Hosts running upwards of 1,000 individual Virtual Machines. Each Virtual Machine needed at least eight vCPUs and 32GB RAM.”

AWS continues to dominate service of the greater intelligence community, not least because of its $600 million deal with the Central Intelligence Agency. All told, 17 intelligence organizations are currently served by the AWS C2S cloud.

The company will add as many as 1,500 jobs to in the East Coast, with the debut of a new AWS corporate headquarter in Fairfax County. “US-East” will exclusively serve governmental interests, including expanded support for the Department of Defense. The funding for this will come from within President Trump’s robust $8.5 billion budget for such services — roughly ten percent of the government’s overall IT budget.

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