Department of Science and Technology (DOST) agencies, the Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) is encouraging government institutions to adopt the use of cloud applications over traditional IT systems, as it unveiled a new online service called GovCloud or Government Cloud, which will enable government agencies to use secure online applications for their various computing requirements.

GovCloud was unveiled by Integrated Government Philippines (iGovPhil) Project at the start of a four-day celebration for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Month 2013.

DOST-ICTO Undersecretary Louis Casambre said GovCloud is a sensible choice for government agencies. “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,” he said.

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.

“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.

About iGovPhil

The iGovPhil project aims to enhance government efficiency and effectiveness by using and putting relevant mechanisms to implement interactive, interconnected and interoperable government applications. Some of the components of the project include a Government Email system, Public Key Infrastructure to enhance the security of transactions and communications, the National Records Management Information System (NARMIS), a secure payment gateway, secure data centers and integrated fiber optic network to interconnect the various agencies of government. More info on iGovPhil is available through www.i.gov.ph

govcloud-diagram