Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Stefan Dietrich, Jamie Maidson, Karyn Jeffery

Blog Feed Post

Well Engineered use of AWS by Recovery and Transparency Board (RATB)

By

After speaking with Shawn Kingsberry in preparations for our 4 April Government Big Data Forum I realized their use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) may be of very high interest to our readers and went about looking for more info online to see what was publicly available. I was ecstatic to see a well written use case for much of it is on the AWS website. That write-up includes a nice graphic that is helpful to understanding how things were done.

Since this is provided by AWS as a way of articulating their special contributions it does not go into the many other services and components required to make this work. But many of those components are probably modular and exchangable with other capabilities. So this overview is probably a great way to get a baseline on what the RATB architecture is.

With that, the following is from: http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/ratb/

AWS Case Study: Recovery.gov and AWS Bring Transparency to the Cloud

The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RATB) was established when Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February, 2009. To ensure against waste, fraud, and abuse, the RATB was tasked with developing a Website which met the following goals:

  • Provide easily accessible information to the public on Recovery spending and results
  • Promote official data in public debate
  • Provide fair and open access to Recovery opportunities
  • Enable public accountability for Recovery spending
  • Promote an understanding of the local impact of Recovery spending

The resulting Website is Recovery.gov.

The RATB originally intended to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) only for development, testing, and as failover, but, says Jim Warren, RATB Chief Information Officer, “When AWS outperformed our on-premises solution at a fraction of the cost, the prime contractor Smartronix and its lead sub-contractor Synteractive, provided a compelling justification for the RATB to host Recovery.gov on AWS’s platform.”

According to Mr. Warren, Smartronix selected AWS because of the flexibility provided by AWS’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model; track record of providing infrastructure for large-scale commercial projects; focus on cost-effectiveness and a pay-as-you-go-model that allowed Smartronix to control costs; commitment to security and reliability; and its FISMA Low certification.

The RATB now uses the following AWS services: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS), Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), and Amazon CloudWatch. The solution also combined multiple pieces of software.

The following diagrams illustrate their topology:

 

ratb arch diagram Well Engineered use of AWS by Recovery and Transparency Board (RATB)

Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing
The website uses Microsoft’s SharePoint as it content management system and all data is aggregated into a global dimensional data warehouse to facilitate time-based analysis and reporting. The solution leverages SAP BusinessObjects and Microsoft SQL Server for reporting services that show how and where the money is being spent. The BI tools enable ad hoc reporting and are instrumental in Data Quality and Data Integrity score-carding.

Advanced Geospatial Analysis and Mapping
The Geospatial tools, based on ESRI software, allow up to 5,000 concurrent users and enables them to go directly to go to their communities of interest at the state, zip, congressional district, or county level. Hundreds of thousands of addresses are geo-coded and aggregated to display total value for each area of interest. Thematic maps and multiple view selections were incorporated to help the user better visualize the data. These thematics include funding heat maps, unemployment heat maps, and diversity maps.

Mr. Warren notes that testing and development enclaves were procured and ready on Amazon EC2 within two days of the contract award. He says, “Our migration to the cloud took only 22 days from feasibility study to production.” The RATB has also enjoyed improved computer security, including greater protection against network attacks and real-time detection of system tampering. Mr. Warren says, “In essence, the security system of AWS’s platform has been added to our existing security systems. We now have a security posture consistent with that of a multi-billion dollar company.” Additional benefits include lower costs and ability to add capacity on demand. The RATB expects to save around $750K during their current budget cycle.

The success of Recovery.gov is being noticed outside of the RATB as well: Andre Romano of Newsweek wrote, “The current incarnation of Recovery.gov…is perhaps the clearest, richest interactive database ever produced by the American bureaucracy.” The site has been given the 2009 Merit award, the 2010 Gold Addy award for Website design, InformationWeek Government IT Innovator 2010 Award, an Award of Distinction during the 16th Annual Communicator Awards, and a second place Gold Screen Award from the National Association of Government Communicators. Recovery.gov is also an official Honoree for the Financial Services category in the 14th Annual Webby Awards.

To learn more see http://recovery.gov

 Well Engineered use of AWS by Recovery and Transparency Board (RATB)

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@BigDataExpo Stories
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
How will your company move to the cloud while ensuring a solid security posture? Organizations from small to large are increasingly adopting cloud solutions to deliver essential business services at a much lower cost. According to cyber security experts, the frequency and severity of cyber-attacks are on the rise, causing alarm to businesses and customers across a variety of industries. To defend against exploits like these, a company must adopt a comprehensive security defense strategy that is ...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
"What we see what happens when you have a completely networked society and the potential to now drive the value creation and the collaboration and the ecosystems that are possible when you start to be able to connect people and industries together in ways that have never been possible before," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP of Marketing Enterprise & Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Zerto will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...