Government Cloud finally comes to Nepal, Government Data Center to host Government Cloud Facility
Government of Nepal has finally started Government Cloud (G-cloud) in the country. This Government cloud facility is being hosted in the Government Integrated Data Center (GIDC) – the only government data center in Nepal – in National Information Technology Center (NITC) of Ministry of Science and Technology. Adoption and provisioning of Government cloud was announced during Nepal budget FY 2014/15.
NITC has started providing virtualization and cloud service to the Nepal’s government agencies. These agencies just require an official request letter to avail this government cloud facility. So far 6 government agencies, namely, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), Public Service Commission (PSC), Department of Land Reform and Management, National Reconstruction Authority and Department of Transport Management (DTM) have been using NITC’s Virtualization and Cloud Service.
Well, we have for long time been using cloud services from Google, Dropbox, OneDrive to name few. However, Government cloud is solely for the purpose of government services. After the adoption of cloud technologies, Nepal’s government agencies can deploy their systems and applications on the NITC’s GIDC (and soon Hetauda DRR site) which can be scaled according to the need and requirement. Previously, traditional hosting was highly in practice in government offices leading to unfulfilled service requests during high demand.
Government Cloud will be set up to ensure archives of all information and statistics of Government of Nepal. Necessary land will be made available to those foreign investors who are interested to set up data center within Nepal. – Budget speech of FY 2014/15
Traditional and legacy IT supports provided by NITC includes .gov.np domain registration, web hosting, server colocation, Internet service, Singha Darbar gate pass system, Public IP, email service and consultancy services, Network management, video conferencing to Nepal government agencies.
FAQs about Nepal Government Cloud
What is a Government Cloud?
- Government Cloud is government’s one stop solution to provide scalable service to host and deploy e-government services. The cloud facility is usually owned and provided by government to its agencies wherein agencies just need to concentrate on their systems and serve to the public via their those hosted public-delivery Information and Management Systems (MIS usually.)
In simple approach, government cloud is a centralized solution where government offices can host their systems rather than owning and maintaining their own instance of servers and services.
What are the features of the Government Cloud?
- The use and practice of G-Cloud is mainly to promote government-wide adoption of cloud computing. The initiative focuses on cloud computing’s capability for economic growth, capitalizing on cloud’s cost savings and flexibility to create a more efficient, accessible means of delivering public services. (via)
How can Nepal Government Agencies benefit from Government Cloud?
- Traditionally, Nepal Government Agencies hosted their systems and applications either on government owned & operated GIDC’s servers or on private company’s servers. There has always been an issue of scalability with the traditional hosting system.
Benefit from Government Cloud is mainly the scalability it provides. Hence, government agencies need not worry about up scaling or down scaling their server requirements. They just need to focus on their information systems.
Who maintains Nepal Government Cloud and where is it located?
- Nepal Government Cloud is facilitated inside the Government Integrated Data Center (GIDC) and looked after by National Information Technology Center (NITC). Physically, GIDC is currently located inside Ministry of Home Affairs and the Disaster Risk Recovery (DRR) site in Hetauda (soon to be completed.) Government cloud and underlying technology are maintained by NITC itself.
Examples of Nepal Government Cloud usage.
- Let’s take one simplest example to understand how Government Cloud could help government agencies avail its facility. Every year when SLC result is announced, result publishing portals like moe.gov.np and soce.gov.np often get traffic in range of tens of lakh which is usual for the portals but only during those limited result published time.
Rest of the time these portals get just a couple thousands of web traffic. Hence, scalability to address large number of users during SLC result publication time can be done by increasing server memory and capacity instantly without harming the system downtime.
What is the technology behind Nepal Government Cloud service?
- Just like other cloud technologies, Nepal’s government cloud services also use virtualization technology. Possibly, the blend of open source and proprietary industry-standard virtualization techniques are adopted by NITC.
However, as of now, it is unknown whether government cloud will address ICT’s IaaS and PaaS apart from usual SaaS features.