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    The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is encouraging government institutions to use cloud applications over traditional information technology (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.

    “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,” said Louis Casambre, DOST-sInformation and Communications Technology Office undersecretary.

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

    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 do is access their files and email it over the web. This kind of service is called public cloud.

    The GovCloud is essentially a private cloud system 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 Denis Villorente of DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute and iGovPhil project director.

    “Project management, storage cloud, VoIP [Voice over Internet Protocol] 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,” he said.

    Cloud computing has brought about a significant change in the economics and sustain­ability of IT. By sharing computing resources through a high-speed network connection or the Internet, applications can be allocated resources when needed and as needed. This reduces hardware acquisition and maintenance costs, essentially creating an “economies of scale” for computing.

    Several government agencies have 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.

    Rosalie C. Periabras


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