Two tech giant companies, namely Amazon and Microsoft, want to develop a computing system ‘War Cloud’ for the US military and both are competing with each other to achieve this contract. The contract is of worth $10 billion and lasts for 10 years.
Officially the project called as the ‘Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Plan or JEDI. The computing project could store and process an enormous amount of classified data and would enable the Pentagon to utilize Artificial Intelligence technology to enhance the planning of warfare and also in engaging. Leading companies wanted to achieve the contract and most of the key players have been rejected in competition. Oracle and IBM were rejected during the completion rounds, recently.
The defense department expects by the end of August 2019, to give the award of worth $10 billion to a tech-based company to develop ‘War Cloud’ computing system.
The contract is most likely to be given to either Amazon or Microsoft, but allegations are that the Pentagon might offer it to Amazon due to its favoritism. US military authorities expect to start the process soon over 10 year-long business collaboration and mention it as significant to national security.
The competition is surrounded by legal challenges due to Oracle raising the question over the Pentagon decision of partially supporting Amazon. Oracle and IBM both organized a protest in 2018 as per reports. The protests were rejected and later Oracle appealed the case in the Court of Federal Claims.
Lexington Institute’s Vice President, Daniel Goure mentioned,
“This is not your grandfather’s internet, you’re talking about a cloud where you can go from the Pentagon literally to the soldier on the battlefield carrying classified information.”
Back in 2017, when the Pentagon started outlining the requirements of cloud, Amazon was determined as the top preferred company for the contract.
Oracle has the last opportunity to prove its allegations against Amazon and also the honesty of the government’s bidding operation, the court hearing is scheduled on Wednesday 10th July.
Daniel Ives, Wedbush Securities expert mentioned,
“This is really the cloud sweepstakes, which is why there are such fierce lawsuits.”
In a court filing of June, Lt. General Bradford Shwedo responded saying that Oracle has delayed the process and this will block our important work in AI. Further, he mentioned the delays might indicate that the US losing its technological benefits across others who are ‘weaponizing their use of data.’
Shwedo stated computing techniques of JEDI could support the US to examine data gathered from surveillance aircraft, forecast when equipment requires maintenance and scale up interaction if fiber and satellite connections weaken.
The Pentagon has continuously backed its bidding technique.
Ives mentions interesting to notice how much the charges will impact Amazon and Microsoft. Microsoft has remained silent during the conflict.