Tech giants Microsoft and Amazon are preparing a high stakes fight over the NSA’s (National Security Agency) $10 billion-dollar secret cloud computing contract codenamed “WildandStromy.” The codename foreshadowed what’s to come, as the contract award is likely to be followed by lawsuits and protests for some time. A similar contract for a system known as JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) was won by Microsoft but was tied up in litigation by Amazon lawsuits and eventually canceled by the Pentagon in July of 2021. NextGov reports that the NSA has quietly awarded this secret cloud computing contract to Amazon. On July 21st, Microsoft formerly filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office. Frank Konkel of Nextgov writes (abridged):
The National Security Agency has awarded a secret cloud computing contract worth up to $10 billion to Amazon Web Services, Nextgov has learned.
The contract is already being challenged. Tech giant Microsoft filed a bid protest on July 21 with the Government Accountability Office two weeks after being notified by the NSA that it had selected AWS for the contract. […]
Details on the NSA’s newly awarded cloud contract are sparse, but the acquisition appears to be part of the NSA’s attempt to modernize its primary classified data repository, the Intelligence Community GovCloud. […]
The contract’s code name is “WildandStormy,” according to protest filings, and it represents the second multibillion-dollar cloud contract the U.S. intelligence community—made up of 17 agencies, including the NSA—has awarded in the past year.
Another win for Amazon
Amazon Web Services is parent company Amazon’s most profitable business unit, and while industry analysts consider it the market leader in cloud computing, it is also the dominant cloud provider among federal agencies, the Defense Department and the intelligence community. AWS first inked a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA called C2S in 2013, through which it provided cloud services to the CIA and sister intelligence agencies, including the NSA. Last year, AWS secured at least a portion of the CIA’s multibillion-follow-on C2E contract. Microsoft twice won the Pentagon’s multibillion-dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract over AWS, but Defense officials cancelled that contract in July after years of litigation.
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