A government agency heads for the clouds

Happy Friday! The folks keeping tabs on the economic stimulus program took a big technological step recently by moving the government’s popular
stimulus-tracking Web site
to “the cloud.”

“Cloud computing” allows data and software to be stored in remote data centers rather than on-site servers, providing significant savings
to an organization’s capital costs and environmental footprint. Much
like Gmail users store their e-mails
and documents on Google, or Flickr users post and save their photos
on the photo-sharing Web site, the Recovery Accountability and
Transparency Board is now using Amazon
servers to post and save stimulus-related information viewed on Recovery.gov.

“We are saving taxpayer dollars, about $750,000 over the next year and a half, and we expect to reap even more savings in the years to
follow,” RAT Board Chairman Earl Devaney wrote
this week on his blog
. “Consider this: We are a small outfit with
four dozen employees, so imagine if other, much larger federal agencies
were to follow our lead — the savings would be magnified many times

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