Skip to main content
Table of contents

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

Please read 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, 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, if you migrate a web API service to another provider it would be harder if the API was built using Amazon API Gateway instead of as a traditional web application and then deployed to EC2.

A good use of a less common service would be to use a Lambda function to ship AWS CloudTrail activity logs to a log provider such as Logit. It wouldn’t make sense to rewrite a Lambda function to run on EC2 hardware because this wouldn’t reduce your switching costs.

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

Less common Amazon Web Services include:

Future platform

Reliability Engineering is working on an Alpha project to provide GDS apps with a common infrastructure platform built and operated using Kubernetes. The new platform will operate in parallel with GOV.UK PaaS.

If you’re starting a new project or application contact Reliability Engineering by email using or using the #reliability-eng Slack channel about your needs before standing up new infrastructure.

This page was last reviewed on 12 August 2019. It needs to be reviewed again on 12 September 2019 by the page owner #gds-way .
This page was set to be reviewed before 12 September 2019 by the page owner #gds-way. This might mean the content is out of date.