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Amazon recently made AWS Outposts available in AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, which generally consist of governmental institutions and regulated commercial companies utilizing AWS services that “are designed to address the specific regulatory needs of United States federal, state, and local agencies, education institutions, and the supporting ecosystem.”

This means these agencies and businesses running AWS GovCloud (US) can now utilize the Amazon services and tools provided by AWS Outposts to run on-premises applications and hardware to fit their operational needs as part of a hybrid environment connecting local and cloud resources.

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Such implementations will connect to the closest geographical AWS Region, so highly available networking connections are strongly recommended for reliability of service. In the event of a network outage, EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and AWS service resources will work normally, but API availability will be impacted, and a long-term disconnection might result in lost metrics and logs.

What are the AWS Outposts options?

AWS Outposts options include “Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, container-based services such as Amazon EKS, database services such as Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts and analytics services such as Amazon EMR on premises. Amazon S3 for AWS Outposts will be available in 2020 for local object storage on Outposts.” A VMware Cloud option will also be made available later this year.

What are the best use cases for AWS Outposts?

AWS Outposts is best suited for low-latency applications, local data processing, and local data storage implementations to handle such functions as compute or storage intensive workloads or graphics-intensive programs. Other examples of low-latency applications that can now be used in GovCloud (US) regions are virtual desktop infrastructure programs, manufacturing applications, video monitoring, virtual reality programs, and some streaming applications.

Utilizing container-based applications, data analytics, and relational database services in AWS Outposts are three concrete examples of the functionality now available for AWS GovCloud (US) users.

Confidential and sensitive information
Of particular note is that confidential or sensitive data such as unclassified information, patient data, law enforcement data, and other types of regulated information can be used with AWS services. Many of these agencies and organizations operate via the stipulation that certain data must remain onsite, so AWS Outposts offers these organizations the opportunity to operate in compliance and rely upon AWS technology in their operations.

Examples of such baselines and requirements that are met by AWS include “the FedRAMP High baseline; the DOJ’s Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Security Policy; U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); Export Administration Regulations (EAR); Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (SRG) for Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5; FIPS 140-2; IRS-1075; and other compliance regimes.” Amazon provides more specifics about AWS Compliance.

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This offering also allows companies in AWS GovCloud (US) Regions to leverage data gathered, managed, and processed locally by technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) through AWS Outposts methodologies.

Amazon can assist in ensuring that local premises are properly equipped for the space, power, temperature control, networking, and weight needs for new AWS Outposts implementations. Amazon then delivers, installs, and supports the hardware and software–including patching and maintenance–while organizations can retain complete control of their virtual networks. Customers are expected to maintain physical security and access controls related to AWS Outposts.

Additional details about AWS Outposts

For more information about this news, read Customers can now connect AWS Outposts to AWS GovCloud (US) regions. Find out which AWS services are supported by AWS GovCloud (US) regions. Get details about how to start using AWS Outposts.