Government PaaS – Key Cloud architecture for Shared Services

For Government projects like Shared Services Canada and the UK G-Cloud hosting bid, a critical Cloud design is ‘PaaS’ – Platform as a Service.

The ‘Cloud Security Zones‘ document from Shared Services Canada defines logical models for co-location, IaaS and PaaS. It says:

“This document also provides guidance as to how departmental security domains can be connected to an ITSS shared services domain for the consumption of shared platforms and applications (i.e. Platform as a Service and Software as a Service). This architecture is considered essential to the successful deployment and certification of the GC Community Cloud.”

The GC Community Cloud is described in this presentation, which this CSZ document is defining will be built through a combination of in-house Clouds and also those provided by third-party outsourcing providers.

In their case they define PaaS as the layer that features all platform software (e.g. Apache Web Server, Websphere, Oracle Database Server) required by the application, so that the client need only provide and manage the application software (or business logic) and content.

Critically it also describes the central architecture of the GC Community Cloud, the “Virtualized Multi-instance Architecture for Future PaaS Services”. It’s so important because it’s the core mechanism by which Shared Services will be achieved – Ie. How government agencies can actually secure share infrastructure for purposes of reducing costs.

Examples of services that could be provided as part of a shared PaaS include single tier web hosting, three tier application hosting, database hosting (DBaaS), and virtual desktop as a service (vDaaS).

DevOps – VMware profile

A key vendor in this space is VMware, likely to be a very strong player in the Government Cloud market. As highlighted on our vendor profile of their offering, PaaS plays a core role in enabling more agile working practices, aka ‘DevOps‘.

Implementation of new ‘Government DevOps’ models in combination with utility computing will be a key lever for big business transformation benefits. A great example case study is Elections Canada, which describes this progress as ‘Web Business Evolution’.

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