Considering the bitter competition between Amazon and Microsoft for the now-defunct $10 billion Defense Department JEDI cloud contract, we’ve seen both companies competing for government contracts.
In this new cloud competition, they’re up against each other over a $10 billion contract awarded by the US National Security Agency called WildandStormy.
Amazon Web Services has been named the winner of “WildandStormy” and is now opposed by its competitor, i.e., Microsoft.
Two weeks after receiving notice that the National Security Agency had selected Amazon Web Services for the contract, Microsoft filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office.
According to Microsoft, the NSA didn’t conduct a legitimate assessment when it made that decision. It claims that Microsoft would have won over Amazon Web Services if the agency had been evaluated properly.
In spite of the lack of details for this endeavor, there are several initiatives underway within the national security community to bring in commercial cloud computing capabilities. NSA currently uses an on-premise program, GovCloud, which it wants to get rid of.
As part of NSA’s Hybrid Compute Initiative, the agency manages what pieces can be transferred into commercial cloud infrastructure and which parts cannot.
In addition to WildandStormy, commercial cloud enterprise contracts awarded last year in the amount of tens of billions of dollars could provide cloud hosting services to some 17 intelligence agencies over the next 15 years.
It seemed as if AWS controlled the intelligence market until just a few years ago. AWS signed its first cloud contract with the CIA in 2013, known as C2S, a $600 million deal that provided cloud-based services to the CIA and sister intelligence agencies. The CIA awarded some portions of its multibillion-dollar C2E contract to Amazon Web Services last year. According to a Microsoft blog post published last year, the company is working on US government accreditation for top-secret regions in Azure Government. Pentagon recently canceled that multibillion-dollar contract after years of litigation when Microsoft won two multibillion-dollar contracts over AWS. The U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) confirmed that it had canceled a whopping $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract with Microsoft for cloud computing. Soon after the agreement between Pentagon and Microsoft was arrived at, Amazon Web Services had filed a lawsuit and leveled the allegation that then U.S. President Donald Trump misused his authority and assigned the contract to Microsoft.
Over the last few years, Microsoft has expanded its top-secret cloud capabilities. Both of these companies are expected to continue competing fiercely.
Microsoft filed the protest on July 21. GAO is expected to make a decision by Oct. 29.