Brazilian government launches own cloud offering

The setup is based on open-source software and will support 80 municipalities.

The Brazilian government has launched a cloud offering that will provide "as-a-service" facilities to municipalities undergoing a public services makeover.

The initiative led by the Federal Data Processing Service (SERPRO) will offer an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio — however, only IaaS, based on the open-source cloud platform OpenStack, will be available initially. According to SERPRO, the software-as-a-service offering will be based on Red Hat technology and is currently being tested.

Some 80 municipalities will be using the services as part of the Cidades Digitais (Digital Cities) program, which is focused on revamping the provision of public services to citizens, as well as the rollout of free internet access in cities of up to 50,000 inhabitants.

In order to make the transition, SERPRO has spent R$9m ($3.9m), which included the purchase of network equipment, new servers, security systems and a data link of 10Gbps to connect the organization's three datacenters, which act as the service's structure. The same setup connects the 11 regional units of the company.

As well as the intended reduction of R$15m ($6.6m) per year in the procurement of IT services, the introduction of the cloud model in the government space could also introduce other major changes. At present, SERPRO provides around 5,000 services to government departments, where the increase or decrease on the amount contracted initially can only reach 25 percent, so charging per user will mean a radical — and hopefully positive — shift in the current billing model.

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