BERLIN/KARLSRUHE (dpa-AFX) - The German cloud provider Ionos has been awarded a major contract by the federal administration to set up a particularly strictly secured computer cloud solution. The company announced this on Tuesday in Karlsruhe. An upper limit of 410 million euros was specified in the tender for the framework agreement. The "private enterprise cloud", which has been certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), among others, is to be operated in the data centers of the Information Technology Center Bund (ITZBund).

The special feature of the United Internet subsidiary's solution is that this platform is not connected to the public Internet. It uses a concept known as "air gapping". This makes it almost impossible for outsiders to access sensitive information. With "air gapping", the computers are separated from the networks and data traffic for software updates, for example, is then handled using portable storage media.

Users in the administration access the "private cloud" via shielded and secure federal data networks. The federal government's IT applications include over 1,000 specialist administrative procedures, including the points account of the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Flensburg ("driving aptitude register") or the calculation and payment of benefits under the Federal Training Requirements Act (BAfogG).

"Offering such a platform as an air-gapped solution outside of our own data centers is a complex requirement that only a few providers can meet," said Ionos CEO Achim Weiß. The solution not only meets the high security requirements, but also represents an important step towards digital and efficient administration.

The Federal Information Technology Center is a central service facility of the German federal administration, which is responsible for the provision and operation of IT services. As an institution under public law, the ITZBund aims to increase the efficiency and security of information technology within the federal administration and drive forward the digitalization of the administration./chd/DP/zb