back to article Oracle's JEDI mine trick: IT giant sticks a bomb under Pentagon's $10bn single-vendor cloud plan

Oracle has filed an official complaint with US government over plans to award the Pentagon’s lucrative cloud contract to a single vendor. The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, which has a massive scope, covering different levels of secrecy and classification across all branches of the military, will run …

  1. fobobob

    Also Jedi Mine trick because bombs.

    Also Jedi *Mine* trick because of One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Thanks. I wasn't quite sure I got the joke.

    2. Dabbb Bronze badge

      Is another very rich asshole called Jeff Bezos any better ?

      1. spodula

        Frankly yes. Even tho he and the company he runs is basically evil, There both Rank ameturs compared to Larry, Oracle and more importantly, the Oracle money squeezing deparment.

        Amazon, for instance, dont send in the auditers every time there looking low on sales targets or you diss them publically, or because their bored.

        1. Craigie

          Three attempts at 'they're', three misses. Well done.

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            Nice effort, although he did miss the possibility of "they're auditors" ;)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Amazon (physical) warehouse

          Have you seen what Amazon warehouse put their workers through .... Oracle doesn't do that

  2. elDog Silver badge

    Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

    "Summing up its position in a statement to The Register, Oracle said that JEDI “virtually assures DoD will be locked into legacy cloud for a decade or more” at a time when cloud technology is changing at an unprecedented pace."

    That's exactly Oracle's model - hook them and then lock them in. Maybe the DoD in this procurement was just using Ellison's example. And, of course, Oracle has been a real laggard in trying to play with the cloud.

    1. ST Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

      According to Oracle, vendor lock-in is bad, unless the vendor in question happens to be Oracle.

      Also: why is Oracle so pissed about not getting this JEDI contract. It's not like they have anything remotely resembling Cloud services.

      According to Forbes - which happens to be Oracle's mouthpiece when they have something fluffy to hype about themselves - Oracle's Cloud ranks #6 overall. Not exactly in the winning spot.

      Hmmmmm, yes. Why wouldn't DOD award their JEDI Contract to the Cloud market's #6 also-ran.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

      So what did Oracle do, price themselves out of the running? OTOH, I'm surprised they didn't argue that the contract should go to the highest bidder.

    3. Secta_Protecta

      Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

      Oracle sales methodologies aside it is an interesting point, as in should any large organisation put all their eggs into one cloud provider basket? Surely the government's advisers should be recommending a multiple cloud vendor strategy, preventing vendor lock in and minimising the risk of service outages if a particular cloud provider falls over, as has already been seen.

      **Disclaimer, I am an Oracle employee and these are my personal views which do not necessarily reflect the view of the company**

    4. The First Dave

      Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

      " “Standardizing on a single cloud today makes no more sense than standardizing on a single on premise computing architecture decades ago.” "

      But surely everyone tried/tries to standardise their on-premise kit?

      1. Giovani Tapini

        Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

        Standard does not have to mean homogeneous..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    too funny...

    I bet the Pentagon is feeling like how I felt when I was told I "HAD" to buy health insurance.

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      Re: too funny...

      I feel sorry for you. In civilised country you would not have to buy health insurance, people participate in a universal health care system.

      1. rcwowbagger

        Re: too funny...

        What's really funny is that I live in a country where I have to buy health insurance, and it's a hell of a lot more civilised than the UK, and the health care is better, and it's not the US.

        ... think chocolate and cheese

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: too funny...

          chocolate and cheese? Has Willie Wonker moved into cheese manufacturing now? Definitely the stuff of fairy tales.

        2. Korev Silver badge

          Re: too funny...

          I’m guessing you live in Switzerland, they do have a safety net for the hard up as well as an upper payment limit.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

    Can Oracle/Larry not supply a Shadow JEDI Knight of a Program of their Own Confection and Construction for Delivery to Other Interesting Forces and Distressed Sources out of reach of and not in touch with Uncle Sam's Clutches?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

      This is nothing more than petulant foot-stamping.

      "Hey! We're a player! We demand consideration! Why is everybody laughing?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

        This is nothing more than petulant foot-stamping.

        Whilst I'd agree, the outcome here depends on whether Leisure Suit Larry is mates with the loon in the White House. AFAIC they are very good buddies, and if Larry throws a tantrum, he'll get his way.

        The US has always been given to partisanship and pork-barrel politics, but its really sad to see it come down to central Asian levels of governance.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

          But at least this could lead to world peace.

          Apart from the fact that being locked into an Oracle solution means they wont actually be able to start a war - until the consultants finish gathering requirements. But after working with Oracle suddenly any differences of opinion with Iran or N Korea will seem minor wrinkles compared with the new hatred of the true enemy

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: being locked into an Oracle solution

            Hilarious though it sounds they're not actually arguing that "lock in" is bad unless it's Oracle you're locked to. They're arguing that the contract should be awarded to multiple suppliers.

            Surely anyone seriously thinking about moving to the cloud should consider portability between vendors as a major plus?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the Problem? There are Other Bigger and Better Playgrounds.

      It's good to see so many replies to an amanfrommars1 post. I thought it was a bot...

      Saying that, I do like the idea of Oracle releasing "SITH" as a pre-emptive backup.

      Maybe SITHLORD? "Secondary Infrastructure To Help Larry / ORacle with Defence"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way it actually works...

    ... you get one supplier. And then they outsource everything possible. So just avoid "cloud providers" and you can use any ****ing cloud around.

  6. wsm

    Just a few points

    1) Oracle said that JEDI “virtually assures DoD will be locked into legacy cloud for a decade or more” Ummm, the cloud technologies are a service. I doubt any vendor would be able to sustain a "legacy cloud" as hardware and software would change without regard for this single contract, though it would be like the Pentagon to find a way to make that happen.

    2) Oracle, the company which has kept licensing and costs so structured as to keep their clients on decade-old versions, said “stated objectives of flexibility, innovation, a broad industrial base, and keeping pace with evolving technology,” Really, Oracle? Really?

    3) Oracle again: “stated objectives of flexibility, innovation, a broad industrial base, and keeping pace with evolving technology,” See all of the above. The cloud will change. The Pentagon will (slowly) change. Having a single source for services most likely won't alter either party to the contract.

    4) The DoD “has little idea what type of cloud services will exist in 2025,” Oracle said. And neither does Oracle. JEDI is a contract for services that can give the Pentagon a place to go without forcing endless bidding and quibbling, like Oracle is attempting to ensure happens now. Hopefully, even the government will realize that Oracle is in decline and newer, more efficient data services are likely to come from somewhere else. Any cloud services provider will be able to keep up with those improvements. That is, if the Pentagon doesn't contract with Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Could, run out of a basement in Cleveland.

  7. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Translation

    "Our cloud offering sucks"

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "at a time when cloud technology is changing at an unprecedented pace"

    Um, Larry, you say yourself that the cloud is "nascent" technology, so how can there be precedent ?

    The Cloud (TM) is brand-spanking new. Everything about the cloud is unprecedented.

    Way to pad your line count, Larry.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: "at a time when cloud technology is changing at an unprecedented pace"

      >>The Cloud (TM) is brand-spanking new. Everything about the cloud is unprecedented.<<

      Not really, it was called 'Computer Bureau Services' way back in the 60's, (ok, it had courier instead of network connections then)

      Oracle position - We can't win this, we demand you spread the Pork around so we may get some.

      AWS & Google position - currently hoping to win outright, then moving to Oracles stance if they get nervous.

  9. Milton Silver badge

    Right for the wrong reasons?

    Ok, no one trusts Oracle to be anything other than the greedy, arrogant, morally unhygienic company it's always been. No one expects it to suddenly—or even, ever—offer top-class, good value products or services that in any way resemble their marketurds' onslaught of hype. The Oracle dodo was already disappearing over the horizon 20 years ago when the company Christmas tree (the RDBMS that was, once, valuably distinguished) became invisible under the unholy spawn of too many acquisition orgies—the festoon of shiny baubles of (badly-) "integrated suite" shyte.

    So no one believes that Oracle's motivation for this legal complaint is anything except self-serving.

    But that doesn't mean they're wrong about the principle of the thing. DoD's excuses for single-sourcing (and doing it conspicuously badly, if you look close) are even leakier than a littoral combat ship:

    "[DoD] ... justified its decision by saying that running a multiple-award contract would slow down the bidding process, increase project costs, and complicate management. ... Pentagon has argued it will avoid lock-in through built-in exit points and various contractural [sic] requirements on portability and price"

    —which translates as "DoD is (i) incompetent to manage a major competitive tendering process, (ii) doesn't realise the phenomenal financial and delivery risks of lock-in, (iii) has either failed to conduct or has dismissed the results of a SWOT analysis of this initiative".

    Now, an ironic perspective on this might acknowledge that DoD has had an entire century of procurement mismanagement experience—with the F-35 fiasco only the latest reminder of its heroic institutional incompetence. This is an organisation, after all, that knew exactly what had gone wrong, how, and why, with the F-111 program fifty years ago, and then went ahead and made all the same mistakes again. So the DoD statement is bizarrely truthful per pt (i) above ... though probably unintentionally so.

    Pts (ii) and (iii), though, ought to have rung alarm bells right round the E ring, because whatever costly dependencies the Pentagon may tolerate with its hardware (or, to be fair, are inflicted upon it through corrupt pork-barrel congressional greed), this is major information technology we are talking about. Russia and China may be celebrating the stupidity of F-35, but they cannot do any more than Lockheed, Congress and the Pentagon have already done to turn that particular project into a military Achilles heel: they can't subvert the plane while in flight and make it crash, or turn right round and shoot up its mother ship. At best they can just hope for chips of runway concrete chipping the stealth paint for a 36-hour trip to the skincare salon.

    IT is another matter entirely. The foes mentioned above are bad enough, but there's also an almost limitless number of smaller nation-states with the intent, the potential and eventually the capability to inflict strategic-level damage on US military IT. Why on earth would you make their job even easier by single-sourcing? Bear in mind, wars can be lost for a lack of shoes as much as missiles: claiming that your precious data is "only" logistics, HR, supposedly unglamorous or even trivial support stuff is actually the same as saying "If it busts, we lose".

    Of course DoD should be looking for multiple suppliers, and Oracle's stated reasons are sound enough, but the far more crucial one is national security. Inevitably, the Pentagon will come to depend more and more upon its suppliers—sucking in the unwary, holding them and their data hostage and then lovingly fleecing them is what every major cloud provider ultimately aims for, after all—and the idea that it will depend upon just one is ... unbelievable.

    ·

    One of them appears to be trying out the unique military strategy of overwhelming a nation's defences via BlitzTweet.

    Not to mention the Orange Idiot's "400lb guy sitting on a bed".

    No, not the one mouthbreathing around three Big Macs while gaping at Fox&Friends. That's Vlad the Emailer's BlitzTweeterBot. Do try to keep up, guys ....

  10. werdsmith Silver badge

    the database goliath sets out its arguments against a single vendor award – broadly that it could damage innovation, competition, and security.

    Damage innovation and competition? Oracle would know something about that.

  11. mutin

    Money goes where people retire

    I understand Oracle's concern. A piece of big pie is worth of trying.

    I impressed that Pentagon is going to trust cloud while it has been proved that clouds are less secure than traditional local enterprise infrastructure.

    However, the story background is different from public. Such huge money usually appear on play table when one of a few high ranking generals are going to retire. Somehow happens that they finally lend up in companies which were rewarded contracts. After a few months of legally required waiting period.

    I've see myself such story when US Navy decided to build useless Navy and Marine Corp Intranet and a few billions got in IT companies. Participating admirals finally moved in IT companies chairs.

    The same happened with Vivek Kundra who was Obama federal CIO and ended up in Salesforce which got 50 millions. After hiding in Harvard hole for six months.

  12. hottuberrol

    I cant take this seriously. "Legacy cloud" and "cloud is nascent " in the same press release.

    At least the great orange cheetoe in the White House has the decency to contradict himself in separate tweets, not the same one.

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