Pentagon Splits $9B Cloud Effort Among Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle
All four had been shortlisted for JWCC, DOD's do-over of its giant JEDI cloud contract effort.
The Pentagon on Wednesday announced the awardees of the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability—or JWCC—contract, with Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and Oracle each receiving an award.
Through the contract, which has a $9 billion ceiling, the Pentagon aims to bring enterprisewide cloud computing capabilities to the Defense Department across all domains and classification levels, with the four companies competing for individual task orders.
Last year, the Defense Department had named the four companies as contenders for the multi-cloud, multi-vendor contract.
“The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprise-wide, globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” the Defense Department said in a Wednesday announcement.
The awards come after a years-long effort to provide enterprisewide cloud computing across the department, with a significant delay in March as the DOD conducted due diligence with the four vendors.
All four companies issued statements the day after the award.
“We are honored to have been selected for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract and look forward to continuing our support for the Department of Defense," said Dave Levy, Vice President U.S. Government, Nonprofit, and Healthcare at AWS. "From the enterprise to the tactical edge, we are ready to deliver industry-leading cloud services to enable the DoD to achieve its critical mission.”
“Oracle looks forward to continuing its long history of success with the Department of Defense by providing our highly performant, secure, and cost-effective cloud infrastructure," Ken Glueck, Executive Vice President, Oracle, said in a statement. "Built to enable interoperability, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will help drive the DoD’s multicloud innovation and ensure that our defense and intelligence communities have the best technology available to protect and preserve our national security.”
"The selection is another clear demonstration of the trust the DoD places in Microsoft and our technologies," Microsoft Federal President Rick Wagner said in a blog post. "Our work on JWCC will build on the success of our industry-leading cloud capabilities to support national security missions that we have developed and deployed across the department and service branches."
“We are proud to be selected as an approved cloud vendor for the JWCC contract," Karen Dahut, CEO of Google Public Sector, said in a statement.
JWCC itself was announced in July 2021 following the failure and cancellation of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure—or JEDI—contract, DOD’s previous effort aimed at providing commercial cloud capabilities to the enterprise.
Conceptualized in 2017, JEDI was designed to be the Pentagon’s war cloud, providing a common and connected global IT fabric at all levels of classification for customer agencies and warfighters. A single-award contract worth up to $10 billion, JEDI would have put a single cloud service provider in charge of hosting and analyzing some of the military’s most sensitive data. Ultimately, JEDI was delayed for several years over numerous lawsuits that ultimately caused the Pentagon to reconsider its plan, opting for a multi-cloud approach more common in the private sector.
For many years, Amazon Web Services—by virtue of its 2013 contract with the Central Intelligence Agency—was the only commercial cloud provider with the security accreditations allowing it to host the DOD’s most sensitive data. In the interim, however, Microsoft has achieved the top-secret accreditation, and Oracle and Google both achieved Impact Level 5—or IL5—accreditation, allowing the two companies to host the department’s most sensitive unclassified data in their cloud offerings. Oracle has also achieved top secret accreditation.
JWCC is just one of several multibillion-dollar cloud contracts the government has awarded over the past few years. In late 2020, the CIA awarded its Commercial Cloud Enterprise, or C2E, contract to five companies: AWS, Microsoft, Google, Oracle and IBM. The contract could be worth “tens of billions” of dollars, according to contracting documents, and the companies will compete for task orders issued by various intelligence agencies.
Last April, the National Security Agency re-awarded its $10 billion cloud contract codenamed “Wild and Stormy” to AWS following a protest from losing bidder Microsoft. The contract is part of the NSA’s modernization of its Hybrid Compute Initiative, which will move some of the NSA’s crown jewel intelligence data from internal servers to AWS’ air-gapped cloud.
Editor's note: This story was updated to include statements from all four cloud service providers.