back to article Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

The US Department of Defense (DoD) still intends to choose just one vendor for its multibillion-dollar cloud contract – amid complaints from Oracle's co-CEO that such a plan "makes no sense". The Pentagon made waves last month when it published a draft proposal document calling for just one cloud services provider to run the …

  1. Muppetry

    Seriously??

    Offerors?? Who came up with that? What's wrong with suppliers, vendors, responders, partners or any of the other words that could have done the job far more effectively?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously??

      Yet it's the term which is used in legal circles. I'm not a lawyer myself but my understanding is it specifically refers to someone offering a contract, without the ambiguity associated with all of your suggestions, at least from a legal standpoint.

      The law (in various jurisdictions) is full of this sort of stuff. It makes sense to them. To the rest of us, your comment probably says it all.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Seriously??

      The offeror is who the contractor is pre-contract (i.e. the supplier offering the contract for acceptance) - it's an established contract law term.

      Once accepted then the contract is binding on the offeror.

    3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Seriously??

      Is an Offeror something like a Dementor?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seriously??

        Is an Offeror something like a Dementor?

        No. Here's a definition of a Demetor. An Offeror is similar in most respects but MUCH more evil.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Seriously??

          Well, even the BBC now uses the hateful "Coup Plotters", coined by some anonymous drone working for King George the First.

          It seems that if the choice is to go looking in a thesaurus or simply stick "ers" on whatever verb is appropriate, Verb Stickers beat out Look Uppers every time.

          1. PNGuinn
            Headmaster

            Re: Seriously??

            Commentarders is seriously uglier. Err ...

          2. psychonaut

            Re: Seriously??

            "Coup Plotters" - i used to have one of those. big A1 thing. lovely

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously??

      Not sure why only AWS could win. Azure at least has similar and often more security and operational certifications.

      1. json

        Re: Seriously??

        The last time I checked they're clocking in at 50+ AWS and 70+ for Azure... but really at those levels I doubt an extra 20+ certification for an esoteric certification or jurisdiction (or even obscure certification body!) will be a game changer.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    JEDI Cloud

    All in one convenient place for the Dark Side to read accidentally unsecured data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      Large chunks of this outsourcing are already outsourced - I believe IBM were the big losers in 2012 when a number of US government departments moved to some shiny new, government only bit-barns provided by AWS called "GovCloud".

      The GovCloud DC's operate independently of the public AWS service and connectivity is "controlled". While I don't know for sure, I would assume Azure and Google have similar siloed DC's if they have any existing government contracts.

      The AWS service is continuing to expand so I suspect Oracle's real question is "does this mean we missed out on the government cloud game?" I suspect I know the answer unless Oracle have some super secret DC's hiding somewhere...

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: JEDI Cloud

        Oracle has been a major beneficiary of DoD purchasing and probably still is. When I left government employ at the end of 2011, Oracle had a fairly secure lock on DoD large and medium database business and we had a lot of little ones on it as well. There were a few DB2 large mainframe databases and a sprinkling of DB2 for Linux/Unix/Windows and SQL Server on Windows. I had tried without success to stir up a little interest in Postgresql, for which commercial support then was about $700 per year as against the extortionate Oracle rates.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      Larry, this isn't the Cloud you're looking for.....

    3. Aqua Marina Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      "All in one convenient place for the Dark Side to read accidentally unsecured data."

      All in one convenient place for the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans to concentrate their hacking efforts.

      Talk about painting a target on your back, all your eggs in one basket, single point of failure etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: JEDI Cloud

        I wonder if their thinking is that they'll have one vendor to sue if they get hacked. Doubtlessly OPOTUS's idea. Not that that'd get back all those top secret files plans, equipment diagrams, etc...

    4. EarthDog

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      Yes nice acronym. It reeks of marketing through and through. Now that's innovation!

    5. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      Or maybe Regan's Star Wars programme will return

    6. SVV Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      Military User System Haardware Remote Operational Opportunity Management Cloud would have been a better name for this particular organisation.

    7. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud

      The force can have a strong influence on the weak minded:

      BOFH: "You don't need to see his login credentials..."

      General 1: "...We don't need to see his login credentials"

      BOFH: "These aren't the files you're looking for..."

      General 1:"...These aren't the files we're looking for"

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: JEDI Cloud

        I can't upvote this BOFH reference enough... :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

    Another reason to check that my ten-foot pole is insufficiently long to touch Oracle.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

      You have no issues reaching it. A chat at dinner is of no consequence.

      Hurding Catz have failed to understand the primary principles of Golfocracy. What is not decided on the Golf Course is not decided at all. Dinner... Pfa... Now hitting a few balls along the green at an exclusive Presidential Resort...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

        What is not decided on the Golf Course is not decided at all.

        All the more reason to support my proposal for the prohibition of golf.

        Make all of it illegal (professional and amateur, including putting and driving ranges, "crazy" golf, even practice swings in private, including the sort of noncey pretend swing that Demot O'Leary does. Plough up the golf courses and plant sprouts. Have the RAF's two remaining Tornados tour the nation, using precision weapons to take out golf club houses (maybe let the RN take out Wentworth with a small nuke on a Trident). Make ownership of golfing equipment, paraphernalia and clothing a criminal offence. Reintroduce the death penalty and corporal punishment to ensure justice has the tools to deal with the scourge.

        And most important of all create a Golfing Offenders Register, with members of the public able to search for any registered offenders living near them.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

          "Have the RAF's two remaining Tornados tour the nation, using precision weapons to take out golf club houses"

          No. Some of them were perfectly respectable historic buildings before they became club houses. They should be rehabilitated.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

          But if you drive Golf underground you will make these dangerous people much harder to track.

          It's enough to force them to wear distinctive clothing in public as a warning to others

          1. CanadianMacFan

            Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

            "It's enough to force them to wear distinctive clothing in public as a warning to others"

            They willingly do that now.

          2. PNGuinn
            Go

            Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

            Underground Golph - now THERE'S a an idea that might fly.

        3. Korev Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Co-CEO chats with current POTUS?

          One major flaw to your plan - the players might survive as every golf course has a bunker...

  4. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Unhappy

    The Toddler in the White House

    I cant see Amazon getting an an easy time of this given the grudge that Trump has with them.

    I bet if the Pentagon tries to sign a contract he will use his executive powers to veto it.

    Even so i cant agree with any of these multi billion outsourcing contracts, they seldom deliver value for the tax payer and cost mega bucks to sort out if and when they crash.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Toddler in the White House

      "Even so i cant agree with any of these multi billion outsourcing contracts, they seldom deliver value for the tax payer and cost mega bucks to sort out if and when they crash."

      Are you sure the existing services are in-sourced? A quick Google search suggests DoD were outsourcing at least as early as 1996.

      This is an attempt to rein in spending on outsourcing providers (stares at a number of traditional US outsourcers using largely "legacy" data centres) by using more modern alternatives as other US Government departments have already done.

      And while your comments about Trump not wanting to use Amazon, Oracle making public statements suggests they've already lost the cost war versus other providers and are hoping that complaining will allow them to retain their existing arrangements. I'm not sure Trump will be so interested in supporting excessive government spending on Oracle over a cheaper alternative...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The Toddler in the White House

        I'm not sure Trump will be so interested in supporting excessive government spending on Oracle over a cheaper alternative...

        Because absolute truth, statistical accuracy and financial rectitude has forever been a watchword of his campaign

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Toddler in the White House

      I suspect that's he starts his negotiations; so, I'd suggest that AWS has good shot at it. He's being hardest on the most obvious choice so that they come in low.

      Under most circumstances I'd say that's a good idea, but I'm not sure its total legal, OPOTUS being the President hence the acronym :P Either way it's certainly not ethical, but neither legalities nor ethics play a role bigly in OPOTUSs super eereeor mined ;)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The Toddler in the White House

        It's not a negotation.

        The Washington post doesn't say nice things about POTUS - therefore is an enemy

        Bezos owns the WaPo

        Bezos owns Amazon

        Therefore Amazon is an enemy

  5. Doctor Huh?

    JEDI Cloud?!?

    Please, please tell me that the governing body for this project is called the JEDI Council!

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud?!?

      I can see it now:

      Pentagon to Larry Ellison: You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master.

    2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: JEDI Cloud?!?

      "This is not the data you are looking for"...

  6. spodula

    Optional

    I think these providers miss the point of the Pentagon. Its Not to provide large monolithic companies with a constant revenue stream. (Well unless your BAE systems, Lockheed martin or Nothrop Grumman, in which case all bets are off).

    I think Oracle are just feeling the pressure of not being the only game in the field for Large data storage and processing. I sense an detailed Licence Audit comming up.... I think thats how they usually deal with this sort of thing isnt it?

    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      Logged in to say the same thing - look at the wording of the objections - it's like a spoiled brat complaining that mommy isn't getting them the new thing they have to have to impress their pals.

      I'd prefer our government look out for out interests, which have near-zero overlap with Oracle. Not to say that this is the best way to do that, but see above - the entitlement complex presented is just disgusting.

      You forgot Boeing, probably the most-subsidized of the MIC in the US. No, make that the most subsidized company of any sort - for the most decades too. They even get an Ex-Im bank to loan foreign customers money to buy their products. Which some subset sometimes pay back someday. We pay the rest.

    2. panoptiq

      Re: Optional

      Personally, I hope IBM gets the contract because of their solid history in conventional data-centers & the requisite security associated with many of them. This gives them credibility when they present their "private cloud" offering to the DoD imho. But who knows? Anyway, it would be a huge shot in the arm for Big-Blue in the cloud space as AWS, Google & Microsoft has that segment on lock-down so far.

    3. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      "I think these providers miss the point of the Pentagon. Its Not to provide large monolithic companies with a constant revenue stream."

      You must be new around here...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Optional

        I hope IBM gets the contract because after years of delays and billions in cost overuns it still won't work

        It could do more to stall the DoD than a generation of peace campaigners

        1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Optional

          Missing trollface? :)

        2. naive

          Re: Optional

          Outsourcing to IBM is indeed an interesting alternative, since IBM is on its turn is outsourcing its business to countries having a high probability of being subjected to substantial US military deployments.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should have called it Highlander instead of JEDI? Only one cloud, the stupid is strong in this one.

  8. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Oracle... don't make me laugh

    Oracle... the worst vendor in the world from an InfoSec prospective, and yet they want to provide their 2 cents worth. BTW Oracle, this decision makes fantastic sense.

    - This is a private cloud system. So you want to manage it differently.

    - Looking for one vender only, DOES spur competition. The best deal wins. Taxpayers like this.

    - Choosing multiple vendors allows them to increase prices incrementally together. The costs will mainly be fixed, and the format will be such that, at the end of the contract, the DoD isn't subject to vendor lock in.

    - One vendor means simplicity. Don't have to send personnel to a variety of vendor training courses. Again, great for the tax payer.

    - One solution makes it much easier for patching and maintenance.

    - One solution makes it easier to secure. MUCH easier to secure.

    There is more, but you get the point.

    Oracle is obviously isn't looking out for the tax payer or the security of DoD cloud data. It's only out for its own bottom line.

    Oracle, get your security together before you start telling others how silly their ideas and solutions are.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Oracle... don't make me laugh

      Looking for one vender only, DOES spur competition. The best deal wins

      But only for the initial purchase. Once signed, the vendor is more than able to screw the customer with either price increases, huge lags in price decreases or just s**t service.

      As for a ten year contract: That's crazy. I'm reluctant to sign five year contracts, let alone a ten year contract. That's a guarantee of getting shafted by the supplier (Unless, of course, brown paper bags, etc...)

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: Oracle... don't make me laugh

      " the worst vendor in the world from an InfoSec prospective"

      Erm, have you forgotten about Adobe?

    3. panoptiq

      Re: Oracle... don't make me laugh

      " This is a private cloud system. So you want to manage it differently."

      I fully agree with this statement and as such I suspect IBM may have the most to offer in that vein. But leave it to the DoD to screw it up. Lockheed-Martin anyone?

  9. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    the underlying foundational technologies required to maximize the capabilities of weapon systems

    Eh, a cloud tends to be the result of "the capabilities of weapons systems", a.k.a. blowing shit up. And maximising usually just means a bigger cloud.

  10. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    It is great and well until that singular cloudy provider goes TITSUP* for whatever reason

    I would have spread it fairly across more than one cloudy provider.

    Suppose we'll all have a nice chortle should a lot of sensitive military data gets leaked...

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Headmaster

      It is great and well until that singular cloudy provider goes TITSUP* for whatever reason

      SYNTAX ERROR: Reference not set to an instance of an object...

      Unfulfilled reference / dangling footnote detected.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Ooops, I am so sorry.

        TITSUP*

        *Total Inability To Serve Usual Philez

        (or use your own as deemed fit)

  11. Craigie

    Single payer

    'I cannot think of a single commercial enterprise that has only one cloud' - your ring mate.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Single payer

      I imagine that Oracle only put their own corporate stuff on their cloud - there is one for him...

      Ditto Azure, AWS . Ooh that’s 3 now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Going by Oracles history....

    ...you would have <insert cloud provider> and Oracle Cloud.

    6 months down the line they would change their licensing terms to state that if using a competitors cloud, your licensing is now 2.5x cost, even if not running oracle stuff on it.

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Oh, what is the clause for data leakage? Any punitive measures that can be taken against cloudy service provider?

    Should be interested to know that.

  14. Emmeran

    Ludicrous

    Like the Fed can't build their own secure cloud. Outsourcing DoD cloud needs is flat out stupid, multi-sourcing it would be even worse.

    For the price of one Carrier the DoD could build the world's largest and most secure Cloud and thereby guarantee our sensitive data is safe. Some things should never be privatized.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Ludicrous

      Following up on your comment - what is the possibility that Faceboob et al can hoover up such sensitive military data via your purdy home compoota?

      I agree with you, there's data that can be stored in the cloud, then there's data that need more security.

    2. midcapwarrior

      Re: Ludicrous

      In theory that's what SIPR is, a DOD/Government secure "cloud".

      Unfortunately the performance and capabilities are far behind any commercial cloud.

      And as WikiLeaks shows most secure doesn't mean completely secure as long as humans are involved.

    3. panoptiq

      Re: Ludicrous

      "Some things should never be privatized"

      You are correct... in theory. The reality is that the DoD does not posses the expertise needed to implement the most secure cloud without significantly sacrificing performance. Therein lies the rub.

  15. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Devil

    One cloud

    One Cloud to rule them all, One Cloud to find them,

    One Cloud to bring them all and in the darkness bind them ...

  16. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    My 2c...

    "The objective of achieving commercial parity seems contrary to the duration and single award aspects of this contract. The single-award removes competition, which was the very impetus that drove the current cloud market.

    Also, the potential duration for this vehicle is 10 years, nearly equal to the age of the cloud market. This duration fails to recognize how fast this market is changing… The structure of this vehicle locks DoD into one vendor for the next decade."

    OK the first objection sounds ludicrous to me. The award of this to a single party removes competition? Surely the award of a multi billion dollar contract should ENSURE a very high level of competition to try and win the contract. It should mean the Pentagon can drive an extremely tough bargain.

    The second objection is much more reasonable, in regards to vendor lock in. However, with clever contract wording, advancements in cloud technology (got that sounds awful - bloody wishy washy sales terminology), advancements in off premises distributed computing technology (much better) could be part of the contract and mean that the vendor lockin does not cause problems in a few years time as things advance.

    10 years is an age in computing, but at least a contract that long should drive a bloody good price. Provided the management oversight is strict and the contract wording tight, DoD should get a good deal...

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    He probably stopped listening when he discovered it wasn't Twitter.

  18. LoPath
    Facepalm

    Cloudz?

    Insert meme here: What if I told you that a cloud was just someone else's computer?

    In this case, several computers. How many several-several computers does it take to make them happy? It makes perfect sense to have all of the computers under one cloud with one service provider. As long as that service provider has diverse and alternate paths and carp-loads of redundancy, what's the issue? If the other bidders take issue with how the contracting process is being run, they can file a formal protest. They know how to do this. Let's not confuse contracting with politics.

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    AWS?

    But OPOTUS has vowed eternal vengeance on Amazon for some slight or other.

    Witness how he characterizes Amazon's use of the Post Office (as I understand it a model that could have been lifted from Mr Trump's own low-bid playbook except money actually changes hands) as "taking advantage" rather than "job creation" - and here I thought OPOTUS was all about the job creation, too.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not chosing Oracle for the Cloud...

    ...is the first sensible thing the orange-faced, idiot man-baby has ever done.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So some sales....

    ..bod has come along and convinced them it will be cheaper to go full cloud (it won't). And going with one provider. Great idea and when that one provider goes tits up you'll be without data for however long they are down.

    I'm not a fan of cloud. Yes, one of the reasons is that I fear it will make me redundant at some point in the near future.

  22. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    So, three years on ...

    Our company has this excellent integrated battle management, tactical, strategic and logistics planning, inter-services coordination and communication, autonomous AI platform command and control applications suite. Just the thing you've been looking for. And a a very reasonable price.

    Oh, sorry. It isn't supported on Azure.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: So, three years on ...

      "Oh, sorry. It isn't supported on Azure."

      Yet. Obviously, the winning cloud provider will have a scheme whereby third-party suppliers to the DoD can pay them lots of cash to make their product lines compatible with the DoD's preferred cloud.

      Ten years on, the cloud provider has the additional advantage during the bidding for renewal that almost every third party's products are compatible with their cloud but (quite possibly) not the opposition (or, at least, not demonstrably so). So they get the renewal. Repeat ad infinitum.

      Who pays? Well, the successful cloud provider makes a shed-load of dosh from the third party suppliers. Those suppliers pass on the costs (now anonymised) to the DoD, which forks out using tax-payers cash. So, er, I guess it is US tax-payers who pay.

      Initially. Of course, the next stage is for it to become a requirement all across NATO.

      Free market economics: it's great. Someone ought to tell the US government about it. At the moment, they appear to believe in the magic money tree.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: So, three years on ...

        "can pay them lots of cash to make their product lines compatible with the DoD's preferred cloud"

        Sorry, not interested. We have a lot of paying customers (including some NATO members, who aren't locked into an unsupported platform) and a limited number of developers. None of which we want to divert to a (very likely futile) task of getting anything stable on Azure. We aren't an 'anonymized' third party vendor who sells through Microsoft. Our reputation for technical competence is more important than a slightly larger pile of cash.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, three years on ...

        @ Ken Hagan

        Does that you wonder if the family of OPOTUS is buying into a preferred vendor and or software companies?

  23. Milton Silver badge

    And in an alternate universe ...

    And in an alternate universe ... the fauna infesting the Trapezoid would have long since built and be maintaining a highly scaleable, efficient and secure computing system, on-prem inosfar as many distributed bunkers can be such, with a dedicated workforce of military specialists who have exactly the right attitude to do IT and do it right (much more so than most civilian IT "professionals", in truth). They would hurl your bullet-riddled corpse out the window of a third-floor office on the Acute Angle after you so much as breathed the suggestion that the world's biggest military and custodian of ~3,000Mt of nuclear fire should put any of its data or process on systems it didn't control and which are renowned for unreliability, expense and insecurity. Even suggesting that seemingly anodyne stuff like data from Human Resources Command could be "cloudified" should be enough, in that world—where the phrase "social engineering attack" is actually understood, and taken seriously—to get you five years in Leavenworth.

    If any organisation on the planet has an armour-plated case for building its own cloud; well-guarded and fortified places to distribute it amongst; the type of people and training to get it done; and the budget to make it happen: it is surely the US military.

    I like to believe that in the parallel world, where people are not all completely, mouth-breathingly thick, the Trapezoid is doing it right. While here, in a universe where a cretinous orange man-child can be President, the Pentagon is following up its almost treasonous mismanagement of the F-35 fiasco with something even dumber and, amazingly, perhaps even more damaging to America's defences: moving to cloud, where the only worthwhile questions will be: First, how completely will the taxpayers be screwed for poor-value pork-riddled rubbish this time? - and Second, will the expensively dysfunctional insanity of this decison become obvious before the (one) chosen provider's systems and architecture become a crumblingly obsolete mess; or after?

  24. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Rise and Rise of the Class Classic Amazon Warrior. Dianas and Aphrodites on Cruising AIMissions

    But the plan came under fire from industry groups and vendors who argued it would limit competition and innovation, ..

    The Pentagon made waves last month when it published a draft proposal document calling for just one cloud services provider to run the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud program for all branches of the military.

    Those two statements are at odds with each other if the JEDICloud Program is Open Tendered to All and Sundry.

    The comment .... The objective of achieving commercial parity seems contrary to the duration and single award aspects of this contract. The single-award removes competition, which was the very impetus that drove the current cloud market. ... is easily mitigated and negated with the Cast Iron Clad Guarantee that Any and ALL Better Future Offerings will be Contracted to Provide JEDI Cloud Services and Servers.... with Absolutely Fabulous NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Tools Delivering Live AI Goods as Earthly Assets ...... with Practically Remote Virtual Accesses to a Heavenly Devil's Lair/Greater IntelAIgent Game Player Home Grown Grounded Environment/Grand AIMaster Fields being a Premium Prime Attraction for Self-Actualisation and Universal Realisation with Myriad Demonstrations of ITs Potent Phormations for General Presentation/Mass Multi-Media Managed BroadBandCasting with Advanced IntelAIgent BetaTesting of Future Live Operational Virtual Environments and Alien Space for Mass Recolonisations on/of Earth?

    DARPA/IARPA SkunkWorks Stuff I presume, and can even assume, to leave behind all of the pedestrian legwork which is a zealously guarded secret for reasons of Sublime InterNetional Security, and need not be further discussed out in the Wild Wacky Open where IT is Free to Air.

    Is the US DoD Pivoting Towards a Presenting Omniscience in Locked and Loaded CyberIntelAIgent Fields/Private and Pirate Live Operational Virtual Environments?

    Both Pandora and Cassandra would like to tell Venus, Mars is Immaculately Captured and Perfectly Maintained for COSMIC Detention and Attention to Volcanic Eruption.

    NEUKlearer State Secrets for Pondering On and Sharing with Truly SMARTR Great Friends and LOVERs ..... Highly Accommodating Acquaintances/Right Royal Barges that be as a Leading Light to Passing Ships in the Night .

    Nurse, have you another bottle? This one is reading empty.:-)

  25. MajorDoubt
    WTF?

    How Insane

    why does the Pentagon not do all this inhouse. ??????, you can't trust any for profit

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: How Insane

      Almost no one does any more, because the coloured pencil department has won. If it doesn't have (at least) one of cloud, agile or devops in the title then no IT Manager is interested these days. Security scores an awful lot less points on buzzword bingo these days.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How Insane

      I suspect the Pentagon does not have the expertise. Building a large cloud is very much a recent thing, and people who know how to do it are not willing to change jobs, not at the scale this would need.

  26. sisk Silver badge

    I can think of no level on which this makes sense, especially in terms of defense. Depending upon which cloud vendor they go with there could be a single or a very short list of facilities where the Pentagon's data resides, which, to my mind, is a security disaster no matter how you look at it.

    So, just as a thought experiment, suppose Amazon is awarded this contract. Great. AWS currently has the biggest slice of the market, so it seems like a sensible choice. Amazon has just 4 or 5 AWS data centers in the US (and I think it's a pretty safe assumption that any contract involving Pentagon is going to include a stipulation that all data physically stay in the US). That means a single enemy submarine loaded with cruise missiles could wipe out the entire Pentagon cloud in a single strike. In a wartime scenario it's not difficult to imagine that happening. This problem does not go away completely because the Pentagon has multiple cloud providers, but it does become less of a problem as you add more providers.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Just a thought. Cut out the middle persons. I bet the Kremlin has lots of good IT people and plenty of storage capacity and would offer a good deal for ready cash.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wouldn't they build their own bunkered data centres, but using one of these companies base implementation?

    3. midcapwarrior

      Actually there is a push to add OCONUS (outside US) data centers to reduce latency and improve performance particularly for the Navy Pacific Rim. Think Hawaii or Guam.

  27. Zwuramunga

    Jedi?

    Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

  28. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Why doesn't DoD do this in house?

    And why one contract to rule them all? It's not all about controlling the contract, it's about also a bit about the office of the secretary of defense exercising control over the fractious clans within DoD. Given four possible contract awards, each service would immediately end up with it's own incompatible cloud. Because they hate each other. Come budget time, the enemy is not ISIS or whatever is on offer, it's the USN, or USAF, or.... If OSD can find the one cloud to rule them all, then it eliminates a lot of potential stupidity. Even if it costs more, that's a plus.

    Anyone remember the NMCI abortion? Navy and Marine Corps were supposed to pioneer the glorious world of outsourcing through this, with Army and Air Force watching. When it turned out to be a total cluster fsck, the Marines pretty much pulled out and USA, USAF ran away screaming - leaving Navy holding the bag.

    Not sure what Oracle is complaining about - not obvious to me they have a cloud with enough scale to compete in this game. A wisp of smoke rising from a crack pipe is NOT a cloud.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Why doesn't DoD do this in house?

      Because they do not have elite executive access to specialist sub-contractor expertise nor Proprietary Intellectual Property rights to necessary future intensive mass reprogramming of Paramilitarised Assets Software and Greater IntelAIgent Game Firmware which is not AI Vapourware.

      To tend to deny it ensures that they will never avail themselves of new weapons and strategies that deliver success rather than compound former campaign failures.

  29. DougS Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Watch where the contract goes

    Bet it doesn't go to someone you'd think of as a cloud provider like Amazon. It either goes to a traditional defense company like Raytheon (any of whom can easily afford to build a cloud of whatever size is needed from what they'll end up charging) or to some company no one has ever heard of which will essentially resell someone else's cloud at a huge markup.

    After it is too late for the DoD to change course 60 Minutes will expose that some seedy figure like Eric Prince is behind it, using connections to the White House or Pentagon to get a shady deal that ends up benefiting those involved in the selection process to the tune of billions. Anyone who has been paying attention to all the ethical lapses in Trump's cabinet knows that the swamp was not only not drained, but is deeper than ever and filled with larger scarier creatures than before.

    1. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Watch where the contract goes

      @DougS, yeah... I read what you said and you are probably 100pct correct. Raytheon, BAE, Northrup, Lockmart, Boeing. Pick one. I was kind of hoping for someone, you know, competent. We should start drinking immediately!

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Watch where the contract goes

      "some seedy figure like Eric Prince is behind it"

      More likely some outfit like Whitefish Energy Holdings. Who was just going to sub it all out to Tencent Holdings anyway.

  30. Peter Quirk

    Missed opportunity to force standardization of basic cloud APIs

    In the past, the DoD has required second-sourcing agreements for semiconductors. However, the incompatibility of cloud services APIs means that no second-sourcing is possible. If the DoD writes to the AWS APIs, their code can't use Azure or GCP. Likewise if they wrote to he Azure APIs, they can't mix and match AWS or GCP services. The DoD could use its leverage to level the playing field and define a selection of APIs to be offered by all providers, regardless of any copyright claims that might be made.

  31. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Sounds like the "fix is in" to me...

    " – made it impossible for firms other than AWS, which already holds government contracts, to apply."

    Pretty much sums up who's getting the contract.

  32. IGnatius T Foobar

    The Fix Is In (tm)

    When a request for bids is written this way, it almost always means that they've already decided which vendor they're going to select, and they're just "going through the motions" so that no one can accuse them of cronyism.

    I certainly hope the selected vendor is not AWS. There's already enough animosity there.

  33. panoptiq

    BIG BLUE!!!

    IBM for the win!

  34. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    However it turns out, and whichever way it runs, it will be extremely interesting to watch.

    + but +

    does it mean that the Pentagon will trim the Army's IT workforce? I mean, they're outsourcing their storage, so the IT bods dedicated to storage will have to get a pink slip?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      workforce reduction

      That's the easy part. This is the military, after all. They just send them back into the infantry.

      Now what to do about all the staff officers and contractors who report to them: that's going to prompt some creativity.

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