AWS Public Sector Blog

Category: Technical How-to

live streaming audio broadcast microphone and on air sign

Live streaming to Facebook and YouTube with AWS Elemental MediaLive

The COVID-19 pandemic pressed organizations to virtualize events that would have previously been held in person, like town halls, school board meetings, public health announcements, and more. While larger organizations may have existing media departments, smaller organizations have had to find ways to utilize social media and other consumer-grade resources to stream these events online. This post walks through how to use AWS Elemental MediaLive to stream to Facebook Live and YouTube Live using an AWS CloudFormation stack to stand up resources automatically.

Photo by Hunter Harritt on Unsplash

Modern data engineering in higher ed: Doing DataOps atop a data lake on AWS

Modern data engineering covers several key components of building a modern data lake. Most databases and data warehouses, to an extent, do not lend themselves well to a DevOps model. DataOps grew out of frustrations trying to build a scalable, reusable data pipeline in an automated fashion. DataOps was founded on applying DevOps principles on top of data lakes to help build automated solutions in a more agile manner. With DataOps, users apply principles of data processing on the data lake to curate and collect the transformed data for downstream processing. One reason that DevOps was hard on databases was because testing was hard to automate on such systems. At California State University Chancellors Office (CSUCO), we took a different approach by residing most of our logic with a programming framework that allows us to build a testable platform. Learn how to apply DataOps in ten steps.

Enabling SAML AWS SSO GovCloud

Enabling SAML 2.0 federation with AWS IAM Identity Center and AWS GovCloud (US)

AWS IAM Identity Center helps administrators centrally manage access to multiple AWS accounts that are members of an AWS Organization. End users can authenticate and then access all their AWS accounts from a single interface. Using IAM Identity Center as a SAML identity provider for your AWS accounts also has security benefits: user credentials provided via federation are temporary. IAM Identity Center does not automatically detect AWS GovCloud (US) accounts associated with standard AWS accounts in your AWS Organization. IAM Identity Center is also not currently available in AWS GovCloud (US). As a result, IAM Identity Center cannot be used to automatically provision access for your users into an AWS GovCloud (US) account. However, this functionality can be extended to enable federation into AWS GovCloud (US) with a “custom SAML 2.0 application” in IAM Identity Center.

earth connections light blockchain

How AWS and blockchain make it possible to meet the challenges of interoperability in healthcare

Health information is generally disorganized, unstructured, and stored in various formats, making it impractical to trace patient history and promote the exchange of information on a national scale with other health professionals. A solution to this issue is the creation of a unique patient registry, which can be defined as a repository of retrospective, current, and prospective information of the patient in digital format. The main objective of this registry is to promote integrated, continuous, efficient, quality health care. In addition, the registry needs to be accessible and available to different health institutions. When building these registries, it’s necessary to use standards to define not only how the information is structured, but also how it can be retrieved and shared among the different HIS in a safe, scalable, cost-efficient way. This can be done using blockchain.

data center cloud

A pragmatic approach to RPO zero

Nobody wants to lose data—and setting a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) to zero makes this intent clear. Customers with government mission-critical systems often need to meet this requirement, since any amount of data loss will cause harm. RPO covers both resilience and disaster recovery—everything from the loss of an individual physical disk to an entire data center. Existing systems support RPO zero through a combination of architecture patterns (including resilient messaging) and on-premises legacy databases. Frequently interpreted as a database or storage requirement, providing for RPO zero requires thinking about the entire system. To do so, you can use AWS services and architecture patterns, which provide resilience to failure with clustering, auto scaling, and failover across multiple data centers within one region.

Serverless GIS

Serverless GIS with Amazon S3, open data, and ArcGIS

If you are hosting an ArcGIS web app today, then you are probably hosting it on a Windows or Linux server using traditional web server software like IIS or Apache. With the web hosting capability of Amazon S3 you can remove the need to run these servers and the maintenance, management, and monitoring overhead that comes with it. Serverless services like Amazon S3 can scale automatically and can be as simple as copying over your website assets to get up and running in minutes. This blog focuses on web app implementations using ArcGIS API for JavaScript (as other ArcGIS web apps have additional considerations).

Using AWS SSO with Microsoft Azure AD to federate to AWS GovCloud (US)

Many government customers use AWS GovCloud (US) because it provides an environment for sensitive data and regulated workloads by addressing a number of U.S. government security and compliance requirements. In many cases, customers have a number of AWS GovCloud (US) accounts and managing authentication and authorization can require a lot of work. These customers may also use Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for identity management, single sign-on (SSO), and multi-factor authentication (MFA). This post builds on features and functionality announced earlier by demonstrating the necessary steps to configure Azure AD, AWS SSO, and the AWS GovCloud (US)-specific identity provider centrally for ease of management.

Managing Edge of the Edge deployments with Rancher

To help support DIL environments, Amazon Web Services (AWS) created the Snow family of products to include the AWS Snowcone and AWS Snowball devices. The Snow family moves data processing and analysis as close as necessary to where data is created in order to deliver intelligent, real-time responsiveness and streamline the amount of data transferred. To address the challenges of edge of the edge computing, we use the Snowball Edge as a central management hub and a Snowcone as an outer edge device. This how-to shows how to use Rancher as a centralized Kubernetes management tool installed on a Snowball, which has been set up to manage a single-node Kubernetes cluster on a Snowcone. This configuration allows us to fully manage the containers running on one or more Snowcones from the Snowball itself.

Public sector security serverless - Darren House

How public sector security teams can use serverless technologies to improve outcomes

Serverless applications are typically discreet pieces of code that customers can use to manage security-related processes or stitch together multiple AWS services to solve a larger problem. They allow customers to build and run applications and services without dealing with infrastructure management tasks such as server or cluster provisioning, patching, operating system maintenance, and capacity provisioning. In this blog, I explain the serverless computing model, the Serverless Application Repository (SAR), solution constructs and implementations, why they matter to our government customers, and how they can use them to solve common problems.

phone notification

Building a government update notification system

Now more than ever, citizens expect effective communications from government agencies in response to COVID-19. These state and local leaders are committed to serving their citizens with the latest news as fast as possible, but not all strategies reach citizens in real time. However, it takes time for the government to implement widely available communication services to provide timely, accurate information. One solution is to concentrate the delivery of information in a single communication channel: SMS text messages.