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Pentagon cancels Microsoft's huge JEDI cloud contract

The Pentagon
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The Pentagon has scrapped its multi-billion dollar cloud computing Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract after months of legal wrangling.

The $10 billion project was designed to migrate the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure to the cloud. It was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, but no work ever began after Amazon secured an injunction to prevent Microsoft from beginning work on JEDI. 

On behalf of its AWS arm, Amazon took both Microsoft and the Department of Defense to court alleging favoritism towards the tech giant by former President Donald Trump. Earlier this year, a memo revealed that the Pentagon was frustrated with all the legal wrangling around the project, and hinted at the cancellation of the entire JEDI contract if the lawsuit showed no sign of resolution. 

"With the shifting technology environment, 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," the DoD said in a statement.

Protest process reform

Following the cancelation announcement, Microsoft issued a blog post affirming its commitment to the DoD, adding that the decision was not a vindication of Amazon’s allegations.

“Their [DoD] decision today doesn’t change the fact that not once, but twice, after careful review by professional procurement staff, the DoD decided that Microsoft and our technology best met their needs,” wrote Toni Townes-Whitley, President, U.S. Regulated Industries at Microsoft.

She further stressed that although Microsoft couldn’t work directly with the DoD on JEDI, the “investments we’ve continued to make in support of the contract requirements” will help ensure that Microsoft will emerge as a stronger competitor for any future contracts. 

Townes-Whitley also called on policy makers to use the stalled JEDI project as a case study to work on reforming the protest process.

“The 20 months since DoD selected Microsoft as its JEDI partner highlights issues that warrant the attention of policymakers: when one company can delay, for years, critical technology upgrades for those who defend our nation, the protest process needs reform,” wrote Townes-Whitley.

Via BBC

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.