Amazon gets (more) serious about government cloud

Not that you probably needed it, but here’s more proof that Amazon Web Services(s amzn) is dead serious about getting more government work.
First, CloudFormation, the company’s tool that lets systems administrators manage sets of related AWS services from simple templates, is now available on Amazon’s GovCloud service. GovCloud was built for government agencies and other entities with special compliance and security needs.
And, on Monday, AWS opened a brand new office in Herndon, Virg., near two motherships — Washington D.C. and Amazon’s gigantic US-East data center farm. Amazon plans to add 500 jobs in the space which will be home to engineering, customer support, security and other functions, according to this Washington Business Journal report.
As almost everyone knows by now, Amazon has targeted some mission-critical government cloud applications including the once-secret CIA cloud, where AWS is now challenging an IBM-prompted Government Accountability Office review of its CIA contract — while also working with prime contractors on the upcoming Department of Interior’s cloud makeover.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on here. The federal government is pushing a “cloud first” initiative to move IT off of creaky infrastructure and into cloud wherever possible to cut costs and boost efficiency. Amazon, along with AT&T(s t), Lockheed Martin(s lmt), Autonomic Resources, CGI Federal, HP(s hpq) and others have earned FedRAMP or Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program certifications which should make it easier for them to win these government contracts which in aggregate will be worth billions of dollars.