Amazon Web Services: an intelligent option for a cloud-based LMS

NetDimensions has made considerable investments in Amazon Web Services (AWS) which leads the market in security and reliability. The benefits for customers include enhanced disaster recovery and backup, as well as streamlined automated processes and monitoring. This blog explains more.

Being in the cloud means enhanced security features for cloud-based LMSs

“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM,” was a popular saying that circulated among technology professionals for a long time. When IBM’s personal computer (PC) emerged in the 1980s, it was so reliable that the company all but ruled the world of IT. Its competitors missed out on opportunities simply because purchasing IBM technology was one of the most risk-averse decisions that contracting officers across government agencies and other high-consequence industries could make.

But new times were on the horizon. Technology evolved and The Internet of Things (IoT) expanded. Less than five years ago, a new technology titan – Amazon Web Services (AWS) – surpassed IBM in a new sphere of technology: the world of cloud computing.

After years of planning, in 2013, Amazon Web Services won a $600 million contract with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). AWS has since built a premiere, secure, selectively collaborative cloud network for the intelligence community. The contract (and that cloud) is still going strong. In fact, as of today, about 2,000 government agencies worldwide have built their secure, reliable networks with AWS.

So what does that have to do learning and LMSs?

From on-premise to in-the-cloud LMS

Up until the mid-2000s, most service providers configured on-premise networks. In the days of traditional architecture, each device that was part of your network was also something you could touch (or maybe not, if you didn’t know exactly what button you were pressing or switch you were flipping). Then, in 2006, the launch of Amazon Web Services ushered in a new world of cloud computing: the opportunity for businesses to host their networks virtually.

The Amazon Web Services phenomenon started with the combination of EC2, Amazon’s elastic cloud in which businesses purchase computing power on-demand, and S3, which provides robust, inexpensive, redundant mass data storage. AWS has responded aggressively to the increased sophistication of IT by adding many powerful, industry-leading services to its platform.

Now, more than a decade later, Amazon Web Services shows no sign of slowing down. Currently serving more than a million active customers including NetDimensions and sister company gomo, this revolutionary cloud service provider sets no limit to the amount of networks it can host. Customers can use as many virtual computers as they need with Amazon Web Services, too.

A man with a mobile device demonstrating security features of the cloud

Why would high-consequence industries use Amazon Web Services?

While there are many reasons to go the on-premise LMS route, cloud-based software architecture comes with certain advantages. Firstly, since customers only pay for the services they use, AWS can be an extremely cost-effective way to build and maintain your network.

The execution of all cloud-based software also happens quickly, so Amazon Web Services becomes an extremely scalable solution. Speed-to-market is another advantage: with AWS, you can turn on virtual devices immediately.

Mitigating network outages is easier with AWS, too. Amazon maintains regions of server farms – organized clusters of physical servers – all over the globe. This enhances cybersecurity while simultaneously facilitating network reliability through redundancy. If one location within a region goes down, all of its stored data is programmed to jump quickly to another established Amazon center within the same geographic region.

NetDimensions uses Amazon Web Services for global cloud computing needs

Amazon Web Services addresses security concerns in much the same way that on-premise network providers do. Amazon provides Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) that are only accessible through VPNs. There are different VPN options and levels of access control, too.

As evidenced by the CIA’s continued use, Amazon Web Services clearly offers enough security and monitoring capabilities to meet industry standards of customers at least as well as any other premium service provider.

Could your cloud-based LMS actually enhance security?

When re-evaluating legacy systems for new learning and compliance management systems, organizations in high-consequence areas should consider the benefits that Amazon Web Services integration adds to NetDimensions Talent Suite 13.2.

It’s quite possible that certain physical threats helped inspire the call for an agile network that would enable intelligence analysts to identify certain types of information more quickly, and distribute alerts more effectively. The theory is that with AWS, 17 intelligence agencies can collaborate securely and quickly to best protect the free world.

For a customer with perhaps the strongest possible need for a cybersecure network, AWS compliance enablers have built a secure architecture based on data security compliance regulations and standards. And then the customer – that’s NetDimensions – can add its own firewalls and other controls to protect our clients’ data. Amazon Web Services uses this Shared Responsibility Model so that nothing can fall through virtual cracks.

As for data protection and GDPR, AWS constantly makes adjustments to meet the strictest regulations of the various countries that its customers rely on their secure cloud offerings.

Amazon Web Services integration for the benefit of NetDimensions users

Whether or not to choose an on-premise LMS or a cloud-based system for your organization is a decision that only your team of experts can properly decide. Either way, NetDimensions can play an instrumental part in helping your organization meet the most stringent of compliance requirements, keeping your data secure and making the entire process as effective and convenient as possible.

Cloud-based LMS content benefits from enhanced security features

Contact us today if you have any questions about Amazon Web Services’ role in our cloud-based solution or about any of the features of NetDimensions’ Talent Suite.

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also want to check out our free Insight, ‘How to switch from a legacy system to a new LMS’.

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