Skip to main content

The GDS Way and its content is intended for internal use by the GDS and CO CDIO communities.

How to host a service

You should use the following cloud platform to host your service:

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

We have assessed our choice of cloud platforms to make sure they:

  • 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.

Hosting using containers

We don’t have any agreed practices for hosting using containers, but currently:

  • GOV.UK Verify and GOV.UK Pay are running in AWS ECS Fargate
  • GOV.UK are replatforming to Kubernetes and we expect more codified practices to come out of that

Serverless hosting

We similarly don’t have agreed practices for serverless hosting, but currently:

  • GOV.UK One Login is running on a combination of serverless (Lambda, DynamoDB) services and services running in Fargate

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 cloud providers. 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.

This page was last reviewed on 22 March 2023. It needs to be reviewed again on 22 September 2023 by the page owner #gds-way .
This page was set to be reviewed before 22 September 2023 by the page owner #gds-way. This might mean the content is out of date.