What is cloud.gov?
cloud.gov is a secure, fully compliant Platform as a Service (PaaS). cloud.gov helps federal agencies deliver the services the public deserves in a faster, more user-centered way.
cloud.gov allows your development team to focus on products that serve your agency’s mission, without needing to manage the underlying server infrastructure. And cloud.gov’s built-in compliance support helps customers create the documentation and continuing assurance necessary for federal services to comply with FISMA regulations and agency-specific “Authority to Operate” (ATO) requirements.
Platform as a Service
The core of cloud.gov is a Platform as a Service built specifically for government work. The customer team is responsible for their own product’s code, and the cloud.gov platform handles the security and maintenance of everything underneath. It’s built to keep applications online even with large numbers of users and sharp increases in usage.
cloud.gov runs on top of industry-provided infrastructure (currently Amazon Web Services is the “Infrastructure as a Service” provider). The platform includes access to this infrastructure while removing the complexity of managing it from your experience. The cloud.gov Platform as a Service is open source. And because it’s based on the open source Cloud Foundry project, it provides portability to other cloud providers or your existing on-premise solution.
cloud.gov provides Compliance as a Service
cloud.gov was designed with FISMA compliance in mind. cloud.gov has a FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) at the Moderate impact level. The vast majority of Low and Moderate controls are managed for you. And because our documentation and controls are always up to date, you can incorporate them directly into any compliance documentation your systems need.
Why a government Platform as a Service works
All federal agencies have a mandate to deploy products in the cloud. Any agency tackling this problem will face regulatory and compliance challenges. Some agencies tackle these problems with little cloud operations capability or experience. Even agencies with the right expertise can face resource shortages, confusion about the right solution, bureaucracy, or other limitations.
One of our goals for cloud.gov is to give other agencies access to the same gains in productivity that we have seen from using cloud.gov. A centralized, open source PaaS model, one that is already compliant with federal rules, reduces the work and cost of cloud adoption. And the more widely it’s used, the more efficient it gets. Your agency can deliver more quickly and more securely with less effort.