As the United States government continues to lead the way in cloud adoptions with its cloud first policy, the GSA has taken it a step further and provided federal developers with Cloud.gov. With Cloud.gov, the GSA’s innovation lab called 18F will be available to some federal IT employees. With 18F, government organizations can begin building their own cloud hosted workloads.
The idea behind 18F and Cloud.gov is to give developers the tools they need in order to begin building on top of popular cloud infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine and more. When these solutions are built out, they can be saved as templates for other agencies who may want to try out cloud services for their departments.
“Cloud.gov allows 18F to reduce the need for highly skilled infrastructure resources to be on every team, enabling people with broad and shallow development expertise to accomplish things that would normally require specialized expert,” says the GSA in a release.
“18F documented their knowledge and expertise and is sharing it as a “Platform-as-a-Service” (PaaS) which can be used directly by developers, and bridges the gap between small service teams and advanced infrastructure skill sets, while keeping headcount to a minimum, saving thousands of dollars,” the release goes on to say.
That’s a win-win for both the government and the taxpayer. With the launch of Cloud.gov, departments can sample the IaaS and PaaS offerings available to the government. The project is still in alpha, meaning there may be some bugs to work out along the way. Sources say that Cloud.gov was built using Cloud Foundry.
18F and Cloud.gov gives government agencies the ability to build rapid solutions for their departments, without the knowledge and expertise of a developer or infrastructure engineer on staff. The GSA says that they will continue to make tweaks and changes to Cloud.gov based on feedback of end users.