War grave archive goes into the cloud

Grave yard
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has used the cloud to provide the public with access to war archives.

The service will allow users to search and download documents about war dead, graves, names on memorials and locations of Commonwealth cemeteries.

The archive was created on the AWS platform with the help of system integration firm Smart421. The service uses a number of AWS technologies to ensure high availability and scalability. Smart421 used technologies such as Amazon S3, Amazon Cloudfront and Amazon Route53 to ensure the website can cope with the number of visitors that use the website.

The commission was founded in 1917 and is in charge of commemorating the memories of 1.1 million people who died in World War One. This also includes 650 women. The names of those who dies are inscribed on memorials in 23,000 locations in 153 countries.

In the lead up to the Centenary of World War One this August, they have also undertaken a five year project to scan over 300,000 working documents relating to those who died in service during World War One and upload them to the www.CWGC.org website, all of which have been be available for the public to view for the first time from earlier this month.

Will Webster, head of IT at CWGC, said that his organisation wanted to offer online public access to part of its historical archive and following a competitive tender, Smart421 was awarded the contract as CWGC had been “impressed with the skills and value on offer” from the system integrator.

“We awarded them the project to realise this vision, cost effectively, using the AWS Cloud,” he said.

“In this Centenary year of the Great War, Smart421 has made it possible to deliver fully on everything we wanted to do. This will ensure our records are available to everyone who wants to access them this year and into the future.”

Neil Miles, Managing Director at Smart421 said the CWGC must be “commended for their decision to adopt cloud-based technology.”

“The result is a perfect use case for cloud scalability, availability and value, if ever there was one.”

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.