AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

The Navy Turns to AWS GovCloud (US) for Standardization and Security

The Fleet and Family Readiness Programs at Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is responsible for policy development, resourcing and oversight of quality of life programs for Sailors and their families. The mission of the Fleet and Family Readiness team is to maximize the physical, emotional and social development of the Navy family.

The CNIC’s Fleet and Family Readiness Division (N9) GovCloud is an unclassified, cloud-based hosting environment designed to improve and enhance delivery of N9’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation information and services to sailors and their families.

Hosted on AWS GovCloud (US), the CNIC N9 GovCloud environment now runs 74 regional websites, 14 e-commerce sites, seven event marketing sites, 10 regionally managed content management systems, and seven CNIC N9 headquarters’ websites, each with its own content management system. To deliver N9 information and services to regionally constituent sailors and families, the CNIC N9 GovCloud also delivers content to more than 113 native mobile applications for iOS and Android. On average, CNIC N9 GovCloud delivers more than 6TB of data and information per month to sailors and families.

Prior to the CNIC N9 GovCloud, N9 information was distributed via a large number of disjointed, informal, and regionally-managed websites and WordPress blogs. These sites, often hosted in foreign nations and managed by installation-level IT staff, were the target of cyber-attacks.

APN Partner Raven Solutions led the transition to the cloud for the Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Fleet and Family Readiness (N9) program.

“The Fleet and Family Readiness program required a delivery platform that would support back office applications and ensure that essential services are accessible, relevant and engaging to service members and their families. Our team leveraged AWS to rapidly consolidate N9 IT resources and reduce the attack surface by minimizing network security boundaries from over fifty regionally supported environments down to one centrally managed cloud enclave, thereby standardizing management, operational and security controls for N9. This innovative environment eliminated functional redundancies, enhanced overall program governance and firmly established N9’s commitment to leverage cloud computing and provide the most innovative, efficient and secure IT platform to support the fleet, fighter and family,” said Ryan Pratt, Raven Solutions, CEO.

By deploying CNIC N9 GovCloud, a centrally managed content delivery service adaptable to regional needs, the U.S. Navy was able to significantly reduce overall costs, decrease investment in hardware, increase security by reducing network attack surface, and centralize information and data governance.

This project is an example of a Navy CIO deciding to leverage the public cloud after deeming it more secure than the legacy, on-premises solutions in place. It is also one of the first Mission Partner Environments (MPE) as defined by the Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirement Guide (SRG).