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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Peterborough Council public money funding the non UK tax paying Amazon monolith

The way we were...


PBROTRIB SKETCH


Hard working Peterborough residents and possibly distressed business owners will be delighted to hear that Peterborough City Council not adverse to spending in the last chance saloon is soon to be channelling increased borrowed public funds and racking up substantial additional debt through tax efficient Ireland and Germany directly into the coffers of an offshore Amazon company, an outfit known as AWS (Amazon Web Services) who pay little or no UK tax on their substantial profits.


Any confidential information Peterborough residents supply the council, will in future be stored and manipulated through cloud based computer technology somewhere in the world but mainly in the USA, which is directly linked to the CIA also in the USA, as they are a major AWS customer! 


It would be interesting to see how many UK companies were invited to tender and was the contract advertised in the European Journal?





An overpaid geeky person one Richard Godfrey, who claims to be assistant director for Peterborough City Council’s Digital Peterborough campaign has recently gone public in the computer chat rooms to big up this alarming big spending development, claiming that it not only saves money (untrue) bit is also safe and secure (very untrue).


To assist we too have consulted the internet to background this alarming development.  It makes for an uncomfortable read in view of the future slash and burn PCC budget policy and the council repeatedly claiming that money will be tight for the next few years.  PCC have already axed evening bus services on grounds of being hard up and kissed goodbye to hot meals on wheels.  It would also be interesting to see the Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet papers that seemed to have waved this largesse through, a public money no object project.   Just so us non geeky mortals understand what a move to AWS entails, consider this:


In November 2010, it was reported that all of Amazon.com retail web services had been moved to AWS.


On April 20, 2011, some parts of Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage. A portion of volumes utilizing the Elastic Block Store (EBS) service became "stuck" and were unable to carry out read/write requests. It took at least two days for service to be fully restored. 


On June 29, 2012, several websites that rely on Amazon Web Services were taken offline due to a severe storm of historic proportions in Northern Virginia, where Amazon's largest datacenter cluster is located.


On October 22, 2012, a major outage occurred, affecting many sites such as Reddit, Foursquare, Pinterest, and others. The cause was a latent bug in an operational data collection agent.


In November 2012, AWS hosted its first customer event in Las Vegas. Just imagine The PCC geeks let loose in Las Vegas!


On December 24, 2012, AWS suffered another outage, causing websites such as Netflix instant video to be unavailable for customers in the Northeastern United States.


Amazon later issued a statement detailing the issues with the Elastic Load Balancing service that led up to the outage.


On April 30, 2013, AWS began offering a certification program for computer engineers with expertise in cloud computing. This of course would look good on any computer persons CV even better if they have actually played around with AWS services...


On May 13, 2013, AWS was awarded an Agency Authority to Operate (ATO) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).


AWS adoption has increased since launch in 2006. Customers include NASA, the Obama Campaign, Pinterest, Kempinski Hotels, Netflix, Infor, and the CIA.......


AWS revenue was not stated separately in the past, but in 2012 it was estimated by industry watchers at over $1.5 billion.


In November 2014 Amazon Web Services announced its commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for its global infrastructure footprint.


In April 2015 AWS was reported to be profitable, with sales of $1.57bn in the first quarter of the year, and $265m of operating income.


Founder Bezos described it as a fast-growing $5bn business; analysts described it as "surprisingly more profitable than forecast".    Ain't that the truth Bezos!


Opinion
Changing mindsets: Why cloud is Peterborough’s first choice .

By Richard Godfrey, assistant director, Peterborough City Council Digital Peterborough campaign


   
Working in local government means we will always need to work as hard as possible to deliver the best service for the public within the ever shrinking budget envelope we are given. To deliver this type of unfaltering service requires a different approach to delivering services and better use of a cost effective IT infrastructure that is both agile and secure.


For many in the private sector, the cloud is rapidly becoming the option that gives the most flexibility and cost efficiency to the IT team. It would be rare to find a start-up today that doesn’t use the cloud as its primary IT infrastructure. Larger enterprises are also using the cloud far more pervasively than ever before, with many moving their key applications onto a cloud platform, driven by the demand for workforce mobility and the need to be agile in their operations.


This industry shift towards cloud has also been felt in the public sector with a small number of Local Authorities beginning to make the move towards cloud services. For Peterborough, the challenge of delivering services efficiently with reducing budgets ultimately opened the door to cloud computing and through devising an innovative technology strategy will now enable us to provide the best service possible to the organisation and the public.


After reviewing the options, we have now embarked on a two year project that will see the majority of our server estate move to Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud. To date, the project has given ICT staff the tools they need to deliver better services to the organisation for less than we could on-premises and has given them the opportunity to drive innovation through a range of AWS technologies.


To read the full article click this link



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