AWS Management Console for AWS GovCloud (US)
The AWS GovCloud (US) was built with government customers in mind. It is an isolated AWS Region designed to allow US government agencies and customers to move sensitive workloads into the cloud. AWS GovCloud (US) adheres to US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as well as a variety of other audited and certified compliance regimes (see the AWS Security and Compliance Center for more info).
I’m happy to announce that the AWS Management Console can now be used to manage AWS resources in the AWS GovCloud (US) Region. This instance of the console is separate and distinct from the instance used to manage AWS resources in the public AWS Regions. The UI is the same and all of the functionality is there, but access to the console is restricted and the console works only for AWS GovCloud (US).
The Console in Action at JHC
While working on this post, I spoke to James Hirmas, CEO of JHC Technology, to learn about how his company uses the new console to build and run applications for the US government. James told me that they have been beta testing the console and that they are happy to see it launched. Their federal clients generally run from locked-down desktops and cannot install ElasticWolf or other client-side applications. The new console GUI and the wizards make AWS more accessible to their customers and runs well in government environments.
We also talked about some of the systems and applications that JHC has built for their US government clients. Here’s what I learned:
To help transition developers to cloud computing, JHC built a templated development environment that can be launched on-demand. The environment includes Active Directory, SQL Server, Lync, and a set of development tools. By launching copies of this stack as needed, developers can work within a clean, isolated environment. They avoid running out of resources and no longer get in each other’s way.
JHC built an AWS-powered source control environment using TeamFoundation and Active Directory. Developers sign in and are connected to the on-demand development environment by means of an RDP session.
They also build public-facing government websites using EC2, Elastic Load Balancing, the Relational Database Service, and S3 (Earlier in his career, James designed and managed the implementation of Recovery.gov, the first AWS-powered federal government website).
Getting Access to the Console
AWS GovCloud (US) accounts can be obtained only by individuals or entities that qualify as U.S. Persons under applicable regulations. To initiate the sign-up process, contact your AWS GovCloud (US) Region Business Representative. You will need to sign the AWS Customer Agreement and the AWS GovCloud (US) Region Addendum.
If you are an AWS GovCloud (US) user and you want to gain access to the new console, please consult the AWS GovCloud (US) User’s Guide.