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1/10/2011
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Treasury Sites Jump To Amazon Cloud

Smartronix has developed a new Treasury.gov site and migrated four other agency sites to Amazon Web Services' EC2.

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The Department of Treasury has tapped Amazon Web Services' cloud computing infrastructure to host a revamped Web site for the agency as well as migrate four existing sites to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

The move marks the first time a cabinet-level federal agency is using AWS to host a Web site, according to Smartronix, which built the new site and executed the migration. Treasury awarded the contract to Smartronix in June 2010; the company worked with subcontractors Synteractive, TMP Government, and KPMG on the project.

The team also worked with Microsoft and AWS to redesign the Treasury site on a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 platform hosted on EC2. The contractors moved the department's SIGTARP.gov, MyMoney.gov, TIGTA.gov, and IRSOversightBoard.treasury.gov to the Amazon cloud as well. Smartronix worked with the federal government to migrate the Recovery.gov site to EC2 last year.

Other Microsoft technologies the new site leverages include Systems Center Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, Windows Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008.

The new site also uses the Akamai Content Delivery Network to accelerate its performance and the Akamai SiteShield service to prevent denial of service attacks by hiding the cloud infrastructure from direct public access, according to Smartronix.

Last year saw the federal government's first major cloud deployments, a trend that is on track to continue in a big way in 2011.

In December, U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled a "cloud first" policy for federal agencies as part of an IT reform implementation plan aimed at cutting costs and creating more efficient federal IT operations, among other goals. The policy requires that all agencies move at least one system to a hosted environment within a year.

Federal agencies that have already embraced the cloud include NASA, which recently moved the daily activity-planning software for its Mars Rover to Amazon's cloud, and the Army, which will use a cloud hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to consolidate its e-mail systems.

In the meantime, the Department of Interior's plan to move e-mail for 88,000 employees to Microsoft's cloud-based Business Productivity Online Suite was recently blocked by a court injunction. Google and reseller Onix sued the department in late October claiming it didn't follow federal procurement guidelines in its pursuit of a hosted e-mail and collaboration suite last year.

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