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The GDS Way and its content is intended for internal use by the GDS community.

How to host a service

At GDS, you should use the following cloud platforms to host your service:

We follow the Government Cloud First policy and use Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to host our services rather than using our own hardware.

Our choice of cloud platforms:

  • are highly scalable and available to meet the needs of service users
  • have automated tools for GDS administrators to manage their environments

See the Service Manual for more information on how to host your service.

Consider vendor switching costs

AWS has a large number of available services. Some services, such as compute capacity and email and file storage, are common to other providers like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Other services are specific to AWS.

You should be aware that it’s generally easier, quicker and cheaper to switch from common AWS services to other suppliers than from AWS-only services. For example, it is more difficult to migrate a web API service to another provider if the API is built using Amazon API Gateway instead of as a traditional web application and then deployed to EC2.

You could also use a Lambda function to ship AWS CloudTrail activity logs to a log provider such as Logit. It would not make sense to rewrite a Lambda function to run on EC2 hardware because this would not reduce your switching costs.

Core AWS services that are common with its biggest competitors include:

Less common Amazon Web Services include:

If you’re starting a new project or application, contact Reliability Engineering by email using reliability-engineering@digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk or using the #reliability-eng Slack channel to discuss your needs before implementing new infrastructure.

This page was last reviewed on 6 January 2020. It needs to be reviewed again on 6 February 2020 by the page owner #gds-way .
This page was set to be reviewed before 6 February 2020 by the page owner #gds-way. This might mean the content is out of date.