?GovCloud? unveiled to push use of cloud computing in gov?t

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) recently launched a new online service called GovCloud or Government Cloud to encourage government institutions to adopt the use of cloud applications over traditional IT systems.

The two DOST agencies responsible for the initiative — the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) ? said GovCloud will enable government agencies to use secure online applications for their various computing requirements.

The cloud infrastructure was unveiled by Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project during the four-day celebration for ICT Month 2013 held last week.

?With the GovCloud, agencies can maximize their resources and significantly reduce operating costs as they only use server resources when they need it, and when server load is high they can be allocated additional resources almost instantly,? commented DOST-ICTO undersecretary Louis Casambre

An example of ?cloud? computing is that of Google, wherein users have files and applications on the Web, doing away with local storage. All the users need to access their files and email on the Web is a Web browser. This kind of service is public cloud.

The GovCloud is essentially a private cloud for the government and will be available for government agencies and their employees.

?Initially, basic cloud applications such as GovMail (government email), Web hosting, and payment gateway applications will be available,? said DOST-ASTI?s Denis Villorente, iGovPhil project director.

?Project management, storage cloud, VoIP and government portal applications will be available in the near future. Custom cloud computing applications and platforms will also be available for those who need it.?

Cloud computing has brought about a significant change in the economics and sustainability of ICT. By sharing computing resources through a high speed network connection or the Internet, applications can be allocated resources when needed and as needed, thus, reducing hardware acquisition and maintenance costs, essentially creating an ?economies of scale? for computing.

Several government agencies have already expressed interest in GovCloud, according to ICTO.

?The GovCloud experience for government agencies will be significantly enhanced with the activation of the fiber core network, which will provide high-speed data connectivity to iGovPhil?s data center that hosts the GovCloud,? Casambre said.

The government fiber optic network is slated to be operational next month.

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