The launch of the so-called AWS Secret Region comes six years after AWS introduced GovCloud, its first data-center region for public-sector customers. AWS has since announced plans to expand GovCloud. The new Secret Region signals interest in using AWS from specific parts of the U.S. government.
In 2013, AWS and the CIA signed a $600 million contract to keep up with big data analytics. That event singlehandedly helped Amazon in its effort to sign up large companies to use its cloud, whose core services have been available since 2006. Today AWS counts companies such as Comcast, Hess, Intuit and Lionsgate as customers. AWS' competitors include Microsoft, Google, IBM and Oracle.
"With the launch of this new Secret Region, AWS becomes the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer regions to serve government workloads across the full range of data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret, and Top Secret," Amazon said in a blog post.
The new region is available to customers as a result of AWS' contract with the intelligence community's Commercial Cloud Services, or C2S, group, and it will meet certain government standards, Amazon said. But the region will also be accessible for U.S. government organizations that aren't part of the intelligence community so long as they have their own "contract vehicles" and sufficient secret-level network access, Amazon said.
Amazon Web Services. (2017). Announcing the New AWS Secret Region | Amazon Web Services. [online] Available at: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/publicsector/announcing-the-new-aws-secret-region/ [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].
Konkel, F. (2017). Sources: Amazon and CIA ink cloud deal -- FCW. [online] FCW. Available at: https://fcw.com/articles/2013/03/18/amazon-cia-cloud.aspx [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].
Novet, J. (2017). Amazon launches a cloud service for US intelligence agencies. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/amazon-launches-aws-secret-region.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO.
Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.
Completion of the transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.
Amazon - Press Room - Press Release. (2017). Phx.corporate-ir.net. Retrieved 29 June 2017, from http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2281414
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