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  • Tech Journalist

The Pentagon awards a $9 billion cloud computing contract to the four main cloud players

The Pentagon will be partnering with the four major Cloud players in the US, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle in a bid to modernise its IT standards while allowing the Department of Defense (DOD) get commercial cloud services straight from providers.

The deal which has been dubbed the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) is set to run until 2028 and will see $9 billion shared between the four players.

“The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defence with enterprise-wide globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” read a statement from the DoD.

All four cloud providers have signed an indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity contract.

The JWCC is not the first attempt by the Pentagon to acquire a commercial cloud for the Defense Department. In 2018, there was a similar deal dubbed the Jedi Contract (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) that was awarded to Microsoft.

However, the $10 billion deal became a subject of controversy after Amazon went to court accusing the Trump administration of arm-twisting the DoD into overlooking its application because of bad blood between the then President and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

Oracle also followed suit looking to challenge the department’s decision to award the deal to a single vendor.

There was a subsequent review of the procurement process for the contract by the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General but the conclusion was the decision to award the contract to Microsoft was not externally influenced.

There was no evidence that senior officers with links to the White House had interfered with the process.

However, Amazon continued disputing the contract prompting the deal to be called off to avoid further legal disputes.

In 2021, the Pentagon announced that it had canceled the JEDI contract and was initiating a new multi-cloud deal open to additional cloud providers. The multi-cloud approach is becoming popular among businesses that want to reduce risk by ensuring if one provider fails then the business is not disrupted.

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