Microsoft Says NSA Needs To Undo $10-Billion Amazon Contract

By Duane Beckett
NSA
Credit: Tawanda Razika / pixabay.com

Microsoft is bringing the heat to the National Security Agency (NSA) to undo the $10 Billion cloud computing contract they did with Amazon Web Services (AWS):

If you don’t know what Amazon Web Services does, you can’t be in the IT sector!

AWS is only one of the largest on-demand cloud computing platforms currently operating. In fact, it is one of the most successful and heavy cash flow subsidiary companies of Amazon Inc. It’s basically Amazon’s cash cow.

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The NSA Contract

Amazon Web Services recently won a contract worth $10-billion to provide the NSA with computing services. The contract is called ‘Wild and Stormy’ and it will be helping NSA with their cloud burdens:

But Microsoft also runs a similar division called Microsoft Azure that also provides cloud computing services to companies and governments worldwide. And it’s no small player either. So, when NSA granted Amazon Web Services the contract, Microsoft was not happy.

Microsoft officially filed a bid protest with the Government Accounting Office regarding the award of the ‘Wild and Stormy’ contract:

Microsoft claims that if NSA had properly gone through their bid, Microsoft would clearly be the winner. The Government Accounting Office is set to decide on this protest in October.

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Intelligence Upgrades

The U.S. intelligence community has been upgrading its cloud computing abilities over the past few years. Right now, most of the government agencies are on a platform called GovCloud, which uses products from various vendors including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure:

But it seems like this GovCloud platform is not enough for agencies anymore. And it is understandable, the volume of data that needs to be stored and the amount of data that intelligence agencies have to go through, has changed substantially.

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AWS & Azure In The Government

Amazon Web Services won a contract worth $600-million from the CIA back in 2013. So, they have been working with the intelligence community for a while.

Recently Microsoft has tried to enter the government contract sector by building facilities that are up to intelligence standards to hold top-secret confidential data.

Nevertheless, it is still clear that Amazon Web Services still has the upper hand when convincing ‘sensitive’ agencies to bring their business to them. According to Chris Cornillie, an analyst at Bloomberg Government:

“Microsoft has come a long way and made it a two-way horse race in government, but Amazon was forming relationships and gathering security certifications a decade ago, and Microsoft is still playing catch-up.”

Ars Technica

We will have to wait for October to see how it turns out for Microsoft as the Government Accounting Office decides on their bid protest.

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