DOD TURNS TO A MULTI-VENDOR MODEL
The U.S. Defense Department, Pentagon, has just canceled its $10 billion JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) cloud contract which was awarded to Microsoft Corp., having faced lots of contest and criticism from rival cloud vendors including Amazon and Oracle Corp.
According to the Department of Defense (DoD), this action is due to the shifting technology environment, stating that “it has become clear that the Jedi Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps.”
With the aim of awarding the JEDI contract to a single cloud vendor, Pentagon announced in April 2019, that only Amazon and Microsoft met “the minimum requirements” for the JEDI project, creating a more tensed stage for the two cloud giants to compete, having attained higher-level federal security clearances which placed them on the frontline of the JEDI contract tussle.
The decision to have Microsoft and Amazon as the final competitors was criticized by Oracle and IBM alleging a foul play and claiming that the JEDI project should not be awarded to a single provider respectively. These allegations and other concerns were eventually dismissed after series of investigations which later involved legislators and the presidency.
About 6 months later, DoD awarded the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract to Microsoft Corp, a cloud deal that was expected to last 10 years with Pentagon spending about $210 million on the first 2 years.
Now that the contract JEDI has been cancelled, Pentagon is launching a new multivendor cloud computing contract which still give Amazon and Microsoft the opportunity to bid. However, the new contract will involve a limited number of cloud vendors, giving other competitors the ability to join the project.
The JEDI project was designed to replace the US Department of Defense’s computer networks with one single cloud system, which would have housed classified files and provided artificial intelligence-based analysis to the military. However, the model, scope, size and budget of the new contract has not been announced.