back to article It's happened: AWS signs Memorandum of Understanding for fluffy white services with UK.gov

Amazon Web Services is the final of the big three cloud providers to have put pen to paper to sell a range of cloud services to the British government under a pre-defined discount, The Reg can reveal. Under the so-called One Government Value Agreement (OGVA), a three-year Memorandum of Understanding between AWS and Crown …

  1. Woodnag

    The cloud server locations will be in the EU to meet GDPR, right?

    And provably so, too?

    1. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: The cloud server locations will be in the EU to meet GDPR, right?

      if your data is in the EU, you might have issues getting it back to the UK on Jan 1, if the UK doesnt get an equivalency agreement....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The cloud server locations will be in the EU to meet GDPR, right?

        Commercial suicide for any company that tries to pull that though.

      2. tobs

        Re: The cloud server locations will be in the EU to meet GDPR, right?

        Does it even matter if it's located in EU or UK? As a US service, I'm sure the US intermigence services will still hoover up the data with ease and retrospective FISA orders.

  2. doug_bostrom

    Shortly we'll come to understand that we never fully realized the real meaning of "lock-in."

    This move is essentially irreversible.

    At some point Amazon will need to be acknowledged as an embedded part of government. Will it be amenable to being subordinate to government interests, as a traditional IT department?

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Shortly we'll come to understand that we never fully realized the real meaning of "lock-in."

      This move is essentially irreversible.

      At some point Amazon will need to be acknowledged as an embedded part of government. Will it be amenable to being subordinate to government interests, as a traditional IT department?

      Has Oracle? Has Intel?

    2. Mine's a Large One

      I agree, but Government departments are already using Azure and other cloud platforms. There's no difference to me other than being locked-in to multiple providers.

    3. EnviableOne Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      I think you have it the wrong way round

      AWS have governments by the short an curlies, not the other way round

      If Jeff says jump or your data disapears, governments will jump

      1. Halfmad

        Re: I think you have it the wrong way round

        Government would sue AND jump.

  3. noboard

    Forget the discount

    What happens once the three years are up> Given it's likely to take at least a year for a department to start using their services, is this a small discount and then whacking them with full price once the deal expires?

    1. dedmonst

      Re: Forget the discount

      Given that this is Amazon's standard business model (enter a market, undercut everyone else while making no money, drive out the competition and then inflate prices) you can be sure this is esactly what will be happening.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forget the discount

      Same thing that happens with any term contract, you either renew or don't - if you do renew you get a chance to renegotiate, and if you don't renew you either stop using the service (and therefore stop paying - the 'magic' of cloud!) or you go to non-contract pricing. Pretty much standard contract approach unless you know different?

      Would you suggest instead that the government signs a 10 year contract, 20 year contract? Given that AWS reduces prices reglarly (please check facts before you decide to troll this comment) it makes perfect sense for the govt to give themselves a chance to re-look at their usage and re-negotiate after a fixed period.

      1. dedmonst

        Re: Forget the discount

        Not the same, because other contracts don't say at the end of them "and now you must pay us much $$$ just to get your own data back" - i.e. egress charges.

        And which price is it that AWS have consistently *not* reduced? Egress charges.

        The whole edifice of public cloud pricing, technical architecture and governance is constructed to make this a one way transaction. I'm not claiming that other models are better, merely go in with your eyes open because once you are in they will "own you" as much as the big SIs have owned government IT

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Forget the discount

          Agree that you go in with your eyes open, and egress is a bit of a pain - but only a bit. Regardless of cloud provider, there are many ways to get your data out again. They do cost so should just be considered as part of the broader ROI. If you just take storage as a simple example, any company/govt considering cloud should look at the costs of themselves managing, maintaining, fixing, expanding, replacing disks, disk arrays, fibre networks and compare this with the costs of storing the data in cloud and pulling it out if necessary after X years.

          Same consideration for using a GSI in a traditional outsource - yes they look after the managing, maintenance, etc (and charge for it obviously), but they WILL also charge you to get your data out at the end (you may have negotiated this as part of the contract run rate, but you can bet that you ARE going to pay for it), along with any stranded costs related to hardware that the GSI has not been able to fully depreciate within the term of the agreement. At least with cloud these charges are fully transparent so you can work out the true TCO and make an informed decision.

          So basically, what I'm saying is, yes, there are costs at the end if you don't renew, but that is only part of the consideration you make when considering any large IT project/hosting contract. As you say - eyes open.

  4. hoola Silver badge

    Lock-in by the back door

    Ass soon as significant quantities of data start being pushed into this (or any cloud service) the situation becomes one of attrition. The costs of repatriating the data to your own facilities or even another cloud provider become prohibitive so the reality many of these deals are not perpetual. The chimps that sign then don't care because they will be long gone with a tidy bonus for "saving money" leaving, in this case, the tax payer screwed. With Amazon it will be screwed from every conceivable direction as they will be paying no tax on any of the profits they make from it.

    1. Halfmad

      Re: Lock-in by the back door

      This is why retention periods for data is so important, less to pull back.

      Amazon are a company, not a charity though - so they expect to make a profit and will do what they can to maximise it. I don't hold that against them but I will hold it against our government is it's excessive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lock-in by the back door

      What would you describe as significant quantities of data?

      What level of costs would you say are prohibitive?

      Let's say I've got 1PB of data (I like round numbers!). I could get myself 13 AWS Snowballs (or Azure equiv) at a cost of slightly under USD 4000 with a data transfer cost of a touch under USD 32K. So about USD 36K to get my 1 PB of data out of cloud. For a government or enterprise that is not what I would call prohibitive?

  5. Howard Sway

    Soon Amazon will say "OK, just give us all the money and we'll run the government for you"

    Bet we hear of Dido Harding being appointed as a director there within the next year too.

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