back to article Pentagon watchdog sets phasers to none, clears $10bn JEDI contract process but leaves door open for lawsuits

There is no evidence of wrongdoing or undue influence in the Pentagon’s controversial $10bn JEDI cloud contract award to Microsoft, the Defense Department’s internal watchdog has concluded. Despite two years of argument in which the world’s largest tech companies have hurled accusations of corruption, incompetence and …

  1. John H Woods Silver badge

    "personal animus toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos"

    Not sure Trump is going to be too chuffed with Bill Gates either now, so I wonder if 3rd time's the charm for One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "personal animus toward Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos"

      While it would be amusing to see the contract given to Oracle given that it met almost none of the technical requirements (i.e. it has no pre-existing GovCloud facilities in NE US locations and Oraclr had allowed two years to acquire land and build new facilities at the DoDs expense as part of its bid), I'm not sure even the current administration would take that option.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "President Trump stated he received 'tremendous complaints' "

    Yeah, we know : he got one call from Bezos. Trump gets tremendous nothing. He gets extraordinary nothing. He just flaps his jaws and states that everything was perfect, exceptional, unbelievably good, without anything to back it up.

    And, most often, anything he says is denied - with facts - within the day, and often much less.

    And Trump "looking into" the JEDI contract ? Don't make me laugh. He couldn't read a contract to save his worthless life.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can’t get too worked up

    about Amazon getting screwed even though it’s obvious they did.

    Hopefully it helps Microsoft catch up some and keeps either of them from monopolising the market and screwing everyone on prices.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I can’t get too worked up

      Possibly worth getting worked up on $10Bn defence contracts being handed out based on who the great leader likes.

      1. EnviableOne

        Re: I can’t get too worked up

        the contract only actually guarentees $1m and 2 years, which is peanuts for both Microsoft and AWS

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I can’t get too worked up

          "the contract only actually guarentees $1m and 2 years"

          That assumes that no services are consumed - the reality is that the DoD are already consuming services from a number of cloud providers (predominantly AWS but Azure is in a clear second place with the remainder consisting of GovCloud certified DC's from about a dozen other providers). Estimated JEDI spend for 2020 is US$1.2bn which covers both current GovCloud spending ($650m) and systems that will be rehomed from "legacy" DC's that are to be decommissioned due to age/cost.

          The contract as it stands (i.e. awarded to Azure) means that the Azure portion of the costs will drop to the new negotiated rates and new GovCloud services will be provided by Azure rather than the other providers. Services currently provided by non-Azure providers will move to Azure but I'm unsure how this will be prioritised given AWS's legal case and the priority being to get services out of older, more expensive facilities.

          At an (educated) guess, I'd breakdown 2020 DoD cloud spend at around US$400m for AWS, $150m for Azure and $175m for the rest. And note that GovCloud O365 systems are outside of JEDI.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When I think Monopoly, I think Microsoft. The only 'monopoly' that AWS has is that is was the first to the cloud market and offers great solutions.

    You want to talk proper monopoly then look at Microsoft's licensing changes in October last year - if that isn't an abuse of market position and monopolistic behaviour then I really dont know what is???

    1. Psmo

      Re: Monopoly?

      Poor troll 2/10.

      Would downvote again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Monopoly?

        So, what part of the post do you disagree with then?

        1. Psmo

          Re: Monopoly?

          The article didn't mention the word monopoly once.

          We're talking servers and cloud workloads, APIs, pricing and market positioning, with a healthy amount of political eye-rolling and sarcasm.

          The post was some anonymous whataboutery flannel, conflating Microsoft's offline monopoly with the treatment of Amazon, I assume venting some long-held frustration.

          Or trying to create another Microsoft gripefest, which is what I assumed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Monopoly?

            I guess you missed the fact that I was replying to the previous poster who talked about AWS 'monopolising'?

            So, what part of what I wrote do you actually disagree with? The part about AWS services being good or Microsoft attempting to turn their 'offline' monopoly into a cloud monopoly aswell by their licensing changes?

            I have no gripe with MS or their tech and have been using it for years (and have been certified in MS tech since NT days), just stating my opinion about their monopolistic behaviours in response the previous poster's viewpoint. Feel free to disagree, but I see the market share advantage that AWS has is owed in a large way to them being the first hyper scale cloud provider rather than any monopolistic behaviour.

            I also feel no need to attack the character or motivations of other posters, just trying to have a discussion.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Monopoly?

        @psmo/Donald why not just say "fake news" and have done

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A Gladiatorial Fight to the Death with Handbags Drawn at Dawn

    amanfromMars [2004151921] ......... observing on

    Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit had long been considered the front-runner in the contest, because it pioneered the commercial cloud industry; still commands more than twice the market share of its nearest competitor, Microsoft Azure; and is the only vendor already authorized to operate at a “secret” or “top secret” level, having provided cloud services for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since 2013.

    Surely that simple single fact alone disqualifies Amazon as it would compromise and divide, and even decimate its allegiance and support for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) ...... and always have the Departments of Defence and War rightly fearful of split loyalties regarding sensitive authorities/deadly matters.

    Say no more, squire, say no more ....... about it being an attempted bloodless private enterprise coup/revolutionary pirate operation?

  6. Santa from Exeter

    So even the report thinks they lied


    'But, the report notes pointedly, that when they were asked very direct questions including “Did Secretary Mattis say that President Trump told him to ‘screw Amazon’ by locking them out of JEDI, or words to that effect?” - they were instructed not to answer by their lawyer.'

    I other words they kept shtumm because they still have jobs to lose and everone knows Trump is a vindictive little shitbag

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So even the report thinks they lied

      That's the beauty of USA political investigations, you get to find out the truth by who refuses to answer and yet nobody actually gets punished.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: So even the report thinks they lied

      they kept shtumm because they still have jobs to lose and everone knows Trump is a vindictive little shitbag ...... Santa from Exeter

      Now that is a Monumental Breach of Reality with AI in Charge of Command and Control of Novel Future Changing Drivers ...... and now printed for Onward Sharing as Universal Knowledge being Simple Common Sense Anywhere Else.

      That great big little something that everything needs to know ideally everything about in order to constantly thrive and eternally survive relatively intact and unscathed with Future ProgramMING Projects All Present and Correct.

      Every now and then it is Great to Flex a Few Muscles/Send a Few Novel AIMessages

      Hello World. amfM Prime Resident here. ....... Welcoming Hot Hosts to Present to the Hordes that which easily drivers them captured in ultra high definition records.

      What do you think of that work/task/pleasure ? Hellish or Heavenly ? Or in the Times and Spaces of Quantum Entanglement , Heavenly Hellish and Hellish Heavenly with Almighty Mind Blowing EMPowerment the Resultant Future Wild Child to School and Prepare for to Lead.

      Take care there. It is a deadly mined mind field perfect at worthy future survival selection.

      Are you finding in a global pandemic emergency, one has much more time to think differently about all we are not told by the media ...... hosting conflicted state and hostile non state actors alike in the tales to be presented.

      I suppose you realise that is certainly dangerous whenever one is responsible and accountable for Wanton Woes and Unnecessary Difficulties. Such makes one wonder whatever is in their heads has designs on killing them, stone dead. Best they cease and desist and seek immediate help would surely be very sound advice to put into deeds indeed.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Dwarf

    Presumably the defence department is good at defending their position.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The DoD has relied on it's vendors (not just IT) to cover the rear flank and ensure they were never left exposed to the enemy.

      The vendors merely asked the DoD to bend over and supply plenty of barrels of pork to ensure they could fulfill that duty.

      So many barrels....

  9. StargateSg7

    This is all Horse Manure! The SINGLE BIGGEST ADVANTAGE that Microsoft has over Amazon is Active Directory-like Group Policy Objects within Azure.

    That ONE SINGLE FEATURE clearly wins over almost EVERYTHING that Amazon could possibly offer! Being able to CENTRALLY CONTROL security of applications, single users, groups-of-users and files from a SINGLE location and have those security and permissions objects PROPAGATE and REPLICATE throughout the entire global WAN in mere seconds or minutes of the proposed U.S. DOD network infrastructure makes Microsoft the CLEAR WINNER HERE !!!!

    Active Directory is an UTTERLY SUPERIOR permissions and security management system for group-based users, files and data objects management. It really IS hard to beat how that centralization can SAVE so much time and money! If the network is setup correctly with properly named user groups and subgroups and properly named permissions and user-rights setups, this system is sooooooooooo superior to AWS that nothing more NEEDS to be said!

    For the U.S. DOS, the fact that Active Directory/Azure follows the Client-Server user management model IS perfect for UNIFYING such a monolithic and heirarchal organization as the Department of Defense and its, Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, Coast Guard, Space Force major management entities for departmental communications, accounting, payroll, logistics and realtime battle-space information exchange.

    The DOD got this one right the first time! The proper product got picked!

    AWS is simply the WRONG TYPE and OPERATING STYLE of information management product(s) for an organization as top-down pyramidal and monolithic as the U.S. DOD !!! The DOD is NOT Google and SHOULD NOT PRETEND it works like Google. Let Google use AWS-like products and leave REAL Client-Server functionality to either Microsoft with Windows Server and Azure (Best price-per-performance ratio for BOTH peer-to-peer and chaotic organizations!) or IBM Z-series Mainframes and Websphere (IBM is simply too expensive for simple top-down organizational Government agencies -- IBM is best for slower-moving multi-layered Petroleum, Communications, Big Utilities, Big Movie Studios and Airlines where solid schedules and big-money financing are king) !!!!

    Since U.S. DOD is a CHAOTIC pyramidal organization where things change far too often in a day or week, you need a more nimble BUT STILL centralized control system. And CLIENT/SERVER disguised as a cloud system (aka Azure!) is the way to go in this instance! AWS is far more suited to nimbler localized medium-to-plus-sized business such as regional product retail, food services and retail delivery --- Nike, McDonalds, Fedex come to mind here!

    If DOD had a truly unlimited budget in the $40 or $50 Billion U.S. Dollars range THEN I would have went for the super-centralized multiple-datacentre-site grid-based IBM Z-series Mainframes and Websphere Software model BUT since the project is 'Only" $10 Billion US dollars, the Price-vs-Performance Ratio means that Microsoft IS THE CLEAR WINNER HERE!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      JEDI is about providing PaaS/IaaS for existing applications rather than developing a new architecture from the ground up.

      The DoD already has an IDAM platform that caters for the entire organisation of 1.4m users plus third-parties - why would they try to re-architect it to fit into the constraints of Active Directory (or the even more constrained AAD) or try to battle fitting existing disparate AD's into one?

      Your arguments may make sense in a sub-10,000 user organisation based around Windows but the limits of Active Directory within larger organisations are more apparent, particularly when you have had to support both Windows and non-Windows platforms for many decades.

      In terms of cost - the DoD has spent the last 10 years moving to IaaS/PaaS services, carefully considering security (mainly used by legacy suppliers as a reason not to use new entrants services when thir own services have been security nightmares), scalability and resiliance. Only one vendor (AWS) currently has the scalability and resiliance that the DoD was looking for in GovCloud facilities which is why the have been the de facto choice for new services in the alst 3 years. Awardig JEDI to Azure means altering the tooling that has been used for legacy DC migrations for the last 3 years to use Azure equivalents. Where they exist....otherwise there is a wait for Azure to develop them. Lucky Azure is only a few years behind AWS in terms of functionality and the AWS legal case might delay things long enough for Azure to catch up.

      Still, it's only American taxpayers money being wasted and I'm sure the legacy vendors appreciate the extra 2-5 years of pork that might have disappeared with the more mature alternative.

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