AWS : Why cloud is important to the Indian Public Sector

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Mr. Durga Prasad Kakarapathi, Solutions Architect, Amazon Internet Services, talks about the advantage of the cloud over an on premise setup and how the Public Sector can leverage it. Learn More.

Video Transcription

My name is Durga Prasad. I am a solution architect, I work predominantly in the public sector business so especially work with governments, education, nonprofits. So what I’ll do is for the next 20 minute’s, I’m going to spend time in explaining some cloud concepts to why cloud is important for public sector especially the government and also a few examples as to what are the top workloads the customers are actually using nowadays, and then we’ll open up for questions and we’ll take it from there.

Difference between Traditional Infrastructure and AWS Cloud 

So just wanna take a couple of steps back you know as just to give you a difference between a traditional infrastructure and the AWS cloud. As you probably already aware that the traditional infrastructure how it looks like with all the servers, routers and all that. So basically you pay for everything upfront and nothing is on demand.

There are significant long term contracts as well in the traditional model and you undergo a lot of planning, you guesstimate a lot to identify what needs to be bought and how to set up and how do we plan that. But in the end you probably end up either under utilizing the infrastructure that you procured and set up, or maybe you would
need some more information or some more resources beyond what you actually plan.

However with the cloud computing, it really turns things on, as you need and use them and are no longer than that. So basically you pay for what you use, it kind of gives you that flexibility in terms of how you want to pay. Instead of planning and seeking funds to pay for all of the equipment you can focus on building the apps and services to accomplish your mission to meet your customers needs on a timely basis and be able to change when they change.

Maybe you start small on demand and you can scale with your needs and give your developers the tools they need at their fingertips to manage your needs. So basically it kind of gives you both the elasticity as well as the agility for you to be able to respond to your needs or customer needs and also gives that flexibility from a pay-as-you-go model.

So when all of these are combined you will actually have a self-service infrastructure. So it’s possible that you would be able to go beyond how you will procure servers. How you’re going to be using certain services to be able to provide citizens separate services will be great.

AWS in the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant 

So coming back to AWS, the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant factors our industry in such optimization studies. Gartner says that AWS is positioned highest in the execution and furthest in the vision within the latest quadrant which is on the top right corner. So it’s a testimony that the customers have trust on us and  continue to use and gain from the services that are being used.

Why does the cloud matter in the public sector?

So like in many countries, even in India we always have this one changing project or citizen centric engagement and services and there are some research and education projects that require a significant IT investment to be able to provide that. So technology is one of the the key factors or key enablers in a lot of the government projects nowadays.

All the key issues in the traditional infrastructure kind of applied to the government departments as well and a lot of governments Today across the globe, education institutions or nonprofit or any other commercial or enterprise organizations are leveraging cloud and taking the benefit from them in terms of how they’re actually leveraging it to deliver the services bed.

AWS Active Customers 

There are millions of active customers every month in AWS in the globe and since the launch of our Mumbai region in India in June 2016 we have more than 120,000 active customers including Tata Motors and the TV feature group, shoppers stop have adopted the AWS cloud for a broad range of applications, something like in e – governance applications or web has a website hosting or big data analytics or mobile applications or e-commerce applications or mission-critical one’s. Even in critical applications such as SAP, Oracle or Microsoft among other use cases.

AWS Public Sector Customers 

Similarly you know in the public sector as well there are some specific customers in India you know that I think one of the logos is not present here is the Andhra Pradesh State Skills Development Corporation or Center for Science and Environment or CSC so these are some of the some of the customers who are listed here but there are many customers who are currently being using the cloud especially AWS and Vedantu the online tutoring or Byju’s or other you know large educational institutions and tech startups are currently using it.

What sets AWS Apart? 

The first and foremost thing is the experience so we are in the cloud in a computing business since 2006 and we’ve been building and refining our services so there’s no compression algorithm for experience. So you have to start managing it and have that experience to manage such large infrastructures to provide the reliable service to the customers that is very very important.

We have been continually expanding our services to support virtually any workload around workload and since 2011 we’ve launched more services. In fact, we have hundred, more than hundred services are available today and that’s really key. So customers have selected AWS because we have proven ourselves committed to customer success so our services are more mature than any other platform and our portfolio continues to scale to meet the needs of the diverse and the growing needs of our customers so any subsidy of Amazon, AWS thinks very long term so this benefits our customers so that we bring this value to them so because we have such a breadth and depth of services we provide greater agility and flexibility than any on premise provider or cloud competitor can offer.

This is enabled by our global footprint that we have as 18 regions with 52 availability zones so far globally and within India we have this one Mumbai region already there and being used and we offer a very transparent pricing model you know we have offered so far the 64 proactive price reductions to date since 2006 this is because we are committed to doing what is right for our customers and also want to highlight you know the partners network that we have. Our ecosystem attracts the best partners in the market that have been using us for a long time.

Our customers can leverage this partner network of more than 4,200 software listings on our marketplace where we have antivirus or firewall security or business applications or domain specific applications. In fact in the
the last year alone in 2017 our partner network has added 10,000 partners only in 2017 that’s how its kind of growing there. So just to give you a little more information on the global infrastructure we’ll be talking about.

I talked about there are 18 regions out there and in each region there are several availability zones. So we have 52 availability zones and in 190 countries the customers are using AWS services and we have points of presence in 113 points of presence in about 24 countries. Within India we have some other locations apart from Mumbai where the points of presence exist and can be leveraged with the content delivery network or with the DNS service or with the direct connect where you can have a point-to-point connectivity as well with your own data set up.

The region is nothing but a combination of more than one availability zones, so each availability zone is like isolated in a separated but still connected with the low latency network and these are really independent from one another. Conceptually these are like data centers but they are actually physically separated there. So these low latency network ones will actually give you the ability to be able to run and build your architecture in such a way that you know even if one available zone is not available, you will still be able to run your infrastructure without any interruptions there and you can have those architecture built into your infrastructure because this is the kind of an architecture there. So that’s about the you know AZ’s and how it is being implemented.

Now the number one reason why customers choose AWS cloud is the agility, the ability for the customers to respond to their market needs or the customers needs. So for example with governments, it used to take about weeks sometimes even months to procure any infrastructure that you would want. However with AWS, you can actually start thinking about adding some new development environment, new production environments in simply minutes or you can even add another region if you want to. You can add thousand servers in minutes or you can remove thousand servers if you don’t want it. You only be paying what you need and you don’t pay anything more. So agility is one of the other factors or is the number one factor why customers are looking at cloud and especially AWS.

Security and compliance on AWS 

AWS security has lot of you know the tools. So we make actually wide range of security tools and features available
to you. Our customers depending on the security of the application or the content you choose to deploy, AWS and its partners offer several tools and features that we provide to meet the security objects. These tools may be familiar controls you’d apply within your own on premise environment like your IT management system or firewalls or your ports. These would actually give you a lot of flexibility you know how people will be managing it so whether it’s data encryption tools or information security or infrastructure security monitoring. So it gives you a lot of scope for you to be able to audit or monitor what is happening within the infrastructure and then be able to monitor and optimize in an environment.

If you find anything can be improved on those as well so there are lot of tools available for you to be able to connect them and some of them already have some free tier options where you can if you want to test some, you can do it Today itself. You can actually open up an account and then start using a desktop because there could be some you know free credits available for you in within the environment for able to test it and evaluate that.

More importantly on the security aspect, to ensure that we are as secure as possible and to meet the needs of most of the security sensitive organizations in India or not only do we actually rely on our own internal audits but we do rely on proven industry standards as well. In fact in India AWS is the first global provider to achieve full empanelment for the delivery of the public cloud services by India’s you know our mighty Ministry of Electronics and information technology and also successfully complete the SDC audit for cloud services delivered from the AWS Mumbai region.

So that means the government agencies and statutory bodies or nationalized banks within India can now use you know AWS for their workloads. So AWS competing environments are also continuously being audited for ISO 27001 or 27017 which is for information security and 27018 for personally identifiable information.

In every country we ensure that we actually get audited and make sure that we provide the services according to the norms there and beyond these security compliance certifications we do provide the customers with call logging and configuration management tools for them to build their own governance model so that it can actually have log and review or just make sure that whatever the changes are happening you have a complete visibility into how because it is being set up there.

Now with AWS, system model shares responsibility as well. So there’s a shared responsibility you know to accomplish the security and company’s objectives in our cloud. There are some elements that AWS takes responsibility for and others that customers must address. Responsibility typically the separation of physical and logical axis and we rely on our customers retain ownership of control of their own content which can be stored within India and make sure that you know it’s there where they store you know according to the requirement. So security of the cloud is taken care by AWS and security in the cloud is something that you know customers are responsible for. This way you know there is always a balance of how you manage your own content within the environment.

AWS Architecture 

I don’t want to talk everything on this but the cloud is not something that is just a compute in more CPU memory and you know some instances that we provide. We offer more than hundred services so we have the products collection of services available from any cloud provider you know foundation services across compute storage security networking and they offer more flexibility in the architecture. We also have other full spectrum of options to meet the most price to performance kind of a scenario so you can have you know artificial intelligence or machine learning or analytics or DEV tools or IOT.

So depending on the kind of scenario that you would be using you can pretty much use any one of these and these would help expand your existing IT infrastructure, you know if you want to start a brand new workload or brand new simple website then you can do that as well. More than ninety percent of these services or in offerings that we have are actually based on the customers feedback so we listen to the customer and put that back and into our development.

Five popular scenarios to adopt cloud

So I’ll just spend a couple of more minutes like the five popular scenarios typically customers go for cloud, it could be you know Dev and test environment where you won’t start your own development environment to test and three months you’re done then you’ve done with the project so you don’t have to procure environment use it for three months and don’t know what to do with that procured resources so DEV test is one you know widely used use case for cloud.

The second one is storage. A lot of times what happens is that you kind of expand, you may be running out of your backup or you know archival systems and you would like to expand your self storage to a cloud maybe it could be a disaster recovery plan or it could be archival solution where you know you tape drives are increasingly going to be in a very you know sensitive failure. Then storage will give you a more redundant location in the cloud and we can have these replications happening within the data centers on-premise onto the cloud or sometimes you may want to provide the you know content closest to the end-user and then you can use the cloud which can actually take the help of the CDN’s and in a cloud content delivery networks to provide that country from the closest location.

The third scenario is disaster recovery. So you can actually build any kind of a disaster recovery scenario, whether it is a cold or you know warm or hot site kind of a DR for your on-premise mission critical application. You can run it so if you are building a DR solutions within the environment within AWS you can have a near zero kind of setup that you can build or if you wanted to expand your current data center on premise to the cloud you can also build that. From disaster recovery point of view this way you know when something happens you always have the other one
which is up and running and be able to there and from a pass failings point of view since depending on the scenario you’re choosing you may want to cut them off until the situation comes with the need or you can always run it in parallel depending on you know what is your archive and how we can you know spin up a disaster recovery setup on the cloud.

Similarly for big data so with the kind of the infrastructure that’s required for certain workloads for you to run you know whether you need the Hadoop clusters or you need some large scale you know streaming have to be done and then be able to you know appear at the data and be able to you know do some lot of good analytics so you can leverage the the already built infrastructure on the cloud so that you don’t have to worry about. So you will have the both the flexibility and ease of use with the kind of offerings that you have in the cloud so you could actually build everything from the scratch that if you really want to and do it on your own or in actually use one of the services like quick site I or when you can use some of the managed services out there on the cloud that you can you don’t have to worry about configuring on your own and but you can simply use that.

So then the other one is the the enterprise application so you know which is like you know your SAP or your Microsoft workloads or CRM and all those kind of workloads can be deployed and managed on cloud, on AWS cloud with a lot of reference architectures are available on how you can actually pretty much replicate what you’ve been doing it here and and there will be some significant cost savings simply because you have these elasticity and flexibility and the scale up and scale and down will kind of give you that kind of advantage out there.

Maybe one example could be that you know this is a time where you know other linking is required and then a lot of new partners solutions where you have lot of seasonal heat that comes up there and then you may need extra workload that you really need to add or sometimes in a  typical scenario you probably be using or customers will be using these sites maybe from morning six o’clock to evening six o’clock or 9 o’clock. So for 50% of the day or in a year you probably would not even need such a large environment so how do you kind of scale up and scale down and how do you save costs on those. There are lot of enormous cost savings depending on the kind of architecture that you are going for especially when you’re hosting on the cloud.

Cloud isn’t really about all-or-nothing kind of a choice, it’s a journey where you can think of moving all your IT to the cloud, establish a hybrid environment with some infrastructure on premise and other applications in the cloud or instead consider moving workload by workload. You can just move only the website today or you can move on this storage. It’s a journey and you really do have many options.

Almost every government customer operates in multiple scenarios some of them are completely on the cloud or some of them are actually in the hybrid environment as well, so it’s all about the choice. Pick the technology that delivers the right performance at the right price and there’s a lot of guidance on how we can actually self service, manage or a lot of partner community who could be technology partners or consulting partners like Mithi could be helping out in how the whole you know cloud can be taken as an advantage and to your own business needs so that you can focus on on the things that are important to you and let the cloud take care of a lot of the heavy lifting. So with that so I hope I was able to explain it to you what the cloud really and what it kind of gives you for you know government.

 


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