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Amazon lofts Hadoop into GovCloud

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Amazon has flung its implementation of Hadoop, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, onto its "GovCloud" data center hub.

The launch of EMR atop GovCloud was announced by Amazon on Tuesday, and sees the Seattle-based infrastructure farmer give US government agencies an easy way to access Hadoop without breaking regulatory protocols.

EMR is based on Hadoop which is in turn based on Google's MapReduce and Google File System technologies, and can be used to analyse very large datasets on top of commodity hardware, like that which runs Amazon.

GovCloud is a separate data center hub operated by Amazon that adheres to the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations requirements. It can support workloads that use either publicly available data or Controlled Unclassified Information.

"Using Amazon EMR, you can instantly provision as much or as little capacity as you like to perform data-intensive tasks without having to worry about time-consuming set-up, management or tuning of Hadoop clusters," Amazon wrote in its announcement.

Amazon launched the GovCloud service in the halcyon days of August 2011, back when a single Bitcoin was worth $7, Google and Microsoft were both publicly committed to their platform-as-a-service endeavors, and Oracle was yet to get serious about the cloud.

Things have changed. Since then, Amazon has expanded with new data center hubs around the world, and has launched a multitude of new services, Google and Microsoft have stepped into infrastructure-as-a-service tech, Oracle has started dressing itself up as a cloud/SaaS provider, and a single Bitcoin is worth $200 or more [You didn't buy any in 2011?!!—Ed.].

As with all things Amazon, the integration of EMR will have been done in response to real and present demand from customers, so we can presume that some parts of the government want to screw around with datasets in the cloud.

The addition of EMR into GovCloud fits with Amazon's strategy of trialing technologies among its main user base in massive data centers like its Virginia hub, then expanding the services worldwide, and then, it seems, finally to GovCloud.

Some of the use cases Amazon lists for the GovCloud include web application hosting, storage and disaster recovering, and on-demand high-performance computing. The addition of EMR brings regulation-approved massive data analysis within the reach of government departments as well. ®

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