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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

Amazon Web Services tops Azure by getting a cloud contract from NSA worth over $10 billion

According to the report of Nextgov, NSA has gifted 10 billion USD worth of cloud computing contracts over Microsoft to Amazon Web Services, which we also know as AWS.

The cloud contract has a codename, WildandStromy, awarded to AWS four months ago. But Microsoft protested against this, and eventually, the NSA had to pull off the contract from the GAO (Government Accountability Office) as AWS had commanded them to.

Microsoft protested that the evaluation aspects of the proposals Amazon Web Page has submitted shouldn't be reasonable with the terms and regulations. So, the GAO investigated it and decided to pull off the contract from AWS in November. However, the NSA has quietly re-awarded the cloud contract worth 10 billion USD to AWS with a ten years deal. And Microsoft didn't protest this time as they knew there would be no point in making an obligation assuming they have corrected their proposal terms.

In 2019, Microsoft won a cloud contract from Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, what most people call JEDI. The agreement was worth over ten billion USD, but they couldn't make a deal with this government military organisation.

Amazon Web Services filed litigation for the contract and had a restraining order till February 2020. And eventually, the United States Department of Defense cancelled the contract awarded to Microsoft. However, Microsoft is still fighting for a cloud contract from Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability worth over 9 billion USD.

These multinational companies always want to gain power within the radius of government, and fighting for that power is crucial. For this power, AWS and Microsoft have been fighting for many years and beefing each other for a long time. First, AWS tried to overtake the cloud computing contract from JEDI and finally got a temporary restraining order from the United States Department of Defense. For that reason, Microsoft lost the contract and took a massive blow in the face.

However, they tried to seek revenge and protested against the cloud contract, WildandStormy, that was awarded to AWS first. They somehow managed to get their revenge, but the NSA was stubborn enough to give the contract back to AWS, and so they did. This time Microsoft didn't protest against it. According to some pundits, Microsoft has given up on the WildandStormy contract and focuses more on the contract Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability gives them.

On the other side, Amazon Web Services celebrate winning the contract and winning over Microsoft. A spokesperson from AWS said, "we are honoured that after a thorough review, the NSA selected AWS as the cloud provider of the Hybrid Compute Initiative, and we are ready to help deliver this critical national security capability."

Though the major problem has not been solved, after re-awarding the cloud contract to AWS, the National Security Agency didn't bother to give GAO an explanation about how they considered the terms to provide AWS with the contract. Microsoft also didn't protest, so the NSA didn't need to answer this question to GAO.

An attorney named Joe Petrillo told the Federal Drive, "It's up to the NSA to decide how to implement this. One of the issues, interestingly enough, that wasn't successful. However, GAO did note that NSA should consider there a question about how the evaluated prices were developed, and how they were evaluated."

Even with these conspiracy theories and rumours, AWS is still celebrating their cloud contract with the NSA. Although, that isn't a huge feat for a multinational company. The AWS, Microsoft, IBM group, Oracle Corporations, Google LLC and other companies also attached ties with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).

The most exciting part is that AWS is competing with Microsoft again as they have their eyes on the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract. Let's see who wins the battle and takes down the contract.


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