AWS Public Sector Blog

Announcing second AWS Top Secret Region, extending support for US government classified missions

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is excited to announce the launch of our second Top Secret Region—AWS Top Secret-West. AWS Top Secret-West is accredited to operate workloads at the Top Secret U.S. security classification level. The new Region adds multiple Availability Zones geographically separated from AWS Top Secret-East. With two Top Secret Regions, customers in the U.S. defense, intelligence, and national security communities can deploy multi-Region architectures to achieve the highest levels of resiliency and availability essential to their most critical national security missions. In addition, they gain proximity to new geographically distributed workloads and mission users.

Mission-critical architecture

With the AWS Top Secret-West Region, the national security community can deploy multi-Region architectures for their most sensitive workloads in two Top Secret Regions over 1,000 miles apart, each consisting of multiple Availability Zones. These Regions and Availability Zones enable national security customers to build highly resilient architectures and store data close to users for latency-sensitive workloads. Our classified Regions meet the same high standards for reliability, availability, and durability as our other industry-leading AWS Regions.

AWS Regions include multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone consists of discrete data centers with redundant power and networking. They are housed in separate facilities, in locations that are carefully selected to mitigate environmental risks. By using Availability Zones, customers can operate ultra-low latency production applications and databases much more resiliently than would be possible with a single data center. We support synchronous data replication to a different Availability Zone in the same Region or asynchronous replication to a different Region. Using AWS, our customers design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones in the same Region for high availability and across multiple Regions to achieve even greater fault tolerance.

Unmatched security

At AWS, security is our top priority. AWS customers benefit from data centers and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations. We support more classification levels, laws, regulations, and security frameworks than any other cloud provider. The AWS Top Secret Region is designed and built to meet the regulatory and compliance requirements of the defense and intelligence communities. The new AWS Top Secret Region is accredited for security compliance under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Intelligence Community Directive (ICD 503) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-53 Revision 4.

Proven commitment

AWS was the first commercial cloud service provider accredited to support government workloads across the full range of U.S. government data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret. In 2011, we launched AWS GovCloud (US-West), making AWS the first cloud provider to build cloud infrastructure designed to meet U.S. government security and compliance needs. In 2014, we launched our first Top Secret Region, AWS Top Secret-East, which was the first air-gapped commercial cloud accredited to support classified workloads. In 2017, we launched the AWS Secret Region. Today, with the launch of AWS Top Secret-West, we continue our support for mission workloads that span the full range of U.S. government classifications.

AWS is committed to helping our customers and partners in the defense, intelligence, and national security communities deliver their most critical missions. As we continue to innovate with our customers, they gain tools to achieve their missions with greater speed, agility, and security. By removing the undifferentiated heavy lifting of the underlying IT infrastructure, U.S. defense, intelligence, and national security communities are able to focus on keeping the United States secure.

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