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Pentagon Cloud Microsoft, Amazon, Google| Silicon UK Tech News

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The US Department of Defense has confirmed that there will be no outright winner of its valuable cloud projects that have previously sparked complaints, lawsuits and accusations of political interference by Donald Trump.

The Pentagon confirmed on Wednesday that it has awarded $9 billion worth of cloud computing contracts to Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Alphabet’s Google and, surprisingly, Oracle.

The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract running through 2028 is the multi-cloud successor to the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). That JEDI contract became embroiled in a political and legal firestorm after the Pentagon awarded the contract solely to Microsoft in October 2019.

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Joint Warfare Cloud Capability (JWCC)

The decision to award the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, or JWCC, series of contracts is in line with the Department of Defense’s ongoing effort to rely on multiple providers of remotely operated infrastructure technology, rather than relying on a single company.

A Department of Defense spokesperson told CNBC via email that “JWCC is a multi-award acquisition comprised of four contracts with a shared ceiling of $9 billion.”

All four tech companies have won indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, or IDIQ contracts, meaning they can involve an indefinite amount of services over a specified period of time.

“The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with globally available cloud services to the entire enterprise across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” the Pentagon said.

The surprise addition is Oracle, which is a much smaller cloud service provider compared to AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

Oracle had previously been eliminated from bidding on the JEDI contract.

JEDI controversy

Wednesday’s decision should end years of disruption and legal challenges after the Pentagon in October 2019 awarded the JEDI contract exclusively to Microsoft, even though Amazon’s AWS cloud arm is widely seen as the favorite to win the award. contract.

Amazon was very unhappy with what it believed to be political bias by former US President Donald Trump, and in November 2019 filed an official complaint with the US Court of Federal Claims challenging the decision.

Andy Jassy even went so far as to publicly state that he believed the decision was not adjudicated fairly and called for the entire JEDI decision process to be reviewed.

But with no sign of movement from the Pentagon, Amazon in January 2020 filed a temporary restraining order with a US court to demand that Microsoft halt work on the Department of Defense’s JEDI cloud contract.

Then, in February 2020, a US judge granted Amazon’s request to temporarily stop Microsoft from moving forward with the JEDI cloud computing deal.

Essentially, Amazon argued early on that politics got in the way of a fair hiring process, and in December 2019 Amazon officially named Trump in its lawsuit, accusing him of exerting “undue pressure” and bias.

Amazon felt the Pentagon’s decision was politically motivated by Trump’s intense dislike of then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post, which Bezos owns.

Pentagon cancellation

After a US judge in 2020 granted Amazon’s injunction on the JEDI project, the Pentagon said it would reconsider parts of its decision to award the project to Microsoft.

And two months later, in April 2020, the US Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General said it could not rule out whether President Trump’s White House played a role in the decision.

But much to AWS’s frustration, in September 2020 the Pentagon concluded that Microsoft had been the best value for money for the contract.

AWS, however, in April 2021 won a small legal victory when the US Court of Federal Claims denied motions filed by Microsoft and the Department of Justice, requesting that the Court dismiss AWS’s allegations that the Administration Trump interfered in the JEDI award.

However, these legal battles were taking their toll on the Pentagon’s commitment to the JEDI project, and news broke in May 2021 that the US Department of Defense was considering terminating the JEDI project altogether.

In July 2021, the Pentagon decided it had had enough and canceled the JEDI cloud contract entirely.

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