back to article The Wrath of Amazon: JEDI wars rage on after US Department of Defense affirms Microsoft contract

AWS has come out with guns blazing after the US Department of Defense's (DoD) reaffirmed Microsoft's JEDI contract win on Friday, with the cloud vendor alleging the award was a “flawed, biased, and politically corrupted decision,” that had been directly and improperly influenced by US President Donald Trump. The contentious $ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn’t have annoyed the orange one.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Yoda thought so...

  2. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Let's be honest - they are the leader

    I'm not a particular fan of theirs, but if the US are going to have a (ridiculous) one-vendor deal, it should be with AWS.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

      For cloud infrastructure, they're all much of a muchness. If I were in govt procurement and found all this hassle for not agreeing to a particular vendor, I think I'd exclude the whingers from the next procurement deal.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Peter-Waterman1

        Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

        I don't know if they are all the same TBH. Sure, they all have a bunch of services, but the availability of providers is wildly different. I think specifically Microsoft has been having a lot of issues with their uptime in the past 2-3 years.

        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

          I've run a couple of servers on Azure for 5+ years. No outage in that time beyond a Cloudflare screw up that had nothing to do with MS.

          The MS outages are normally on bits that don't affect many people or on some trivial service.

          1. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

            Not really. They recently prioritised Teams workload over their non-government customers in various regions. We experienced it.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

            The MS outages are normally on bits that don't affect many people or on some trivial service.

            Really? Try searching El Reg for Azure Outages and you may find a different viewpoint to this.

            1. https://www.theregister.com/2020/08/18/dont_use_azure_status_page/

            2. https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/13/github_takes_some_downtime_availability/

            3. https://www.theregister.com/2020/06/15/microsoft_365_outage_australia_new_zealand/

            4. https://www.theregister.com/2020/03/24/azure_seems_to_be_full/

            5. https://www.theregister.com/2020/03/15/azure_outage_west_central_usa/

            6. https://www.theregister.com/2019/10/25/microsoft_outage_explainer/

            7. https://www.theregister.com/2018/11/27/microsoft_azure_outage_postmortem/

            8. https://www.theregister.com/2018/11/19/microsoft_azure_office_outage_latest/

            9. https://www.theregister.com/2018/06/22/azure_north_europe_downed_by_pleasant_weather/

            10. https://www.theregister.com/2017/05/10/office_365_is_out/

            11. https://www.theregister.com/2016/09/21/azure_sydney_wobbled_thanks_to_networking_issue/

            12. https://www.theregister.com/2016/04/13/microsoft_is_down/

            13. https://www.theregister.com/2015/12/03/office_365_goes_offline/

            14. https://www.theregister.com/2015/01/16/microsoft_worst_cloud_uptime_2014/

            And these are just the ones that make El Reg...Try searching for GCP/AWS Outages...Nothing like it

    2. jvf

      Re: Let's be honest - they are the leader

      Actually, for reasons I don't quite understand, I'm rooting for Microsoft. As for the single vendor concept, I'm for that also-it eliminates any finger pointing at "the other guy" when the s**t hits the fan.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was this the contract that was originally awarded to AWS?

    They all blur together over time.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Was this the contract that was originally awarded to AWS?

      No, the article describes in more detail, but the course was basically this:

      Contract created by department, bids requested -> Oracle's bid to run part rejected as the provider needs to run all of it -> Google decides to drop out -> Amazon and Microsoft submit bids -> Microsoft's bid accepted -> Amazon sues saying Microsoft's is invalid -> Oracle sues saying "we want money and we're unhappy we didn't get some" -> Amazon wins a preliminary case -> Oracle eventually loses theirs -> Amazon loses a case -> Amazon wins a case -> department says they still like Microsoft -> Amazon doesn't like to hear that, tries again -> you are here.

      Expect that this will end soon, maybe 2027 or so.

      1. Imhotep Silver badge

        Re: Was this the contract that was originally awarded to AWS?

        ".....we want money and we're unhappy we didn't get some"

        That is an amazingly accurate summarization of most of these lawsuits.

      2. EnviableOne Silver badge

        Re: Was this the contract that was originally awarded to AWS?

        Get it right

        RFQ was sent out AWS, MS, and Oracle/IBM submitted bids

        IBM/Oracle as a multi vendor bid was rejected (Larry spit his dummy and sued)

        MS didnt like the clarifications and pulled from the competition, leaving only the AWS bid standing

        DoD annouced AWS won, POTUS forced DoD into a review of the process

        MS were then announced as winner (even though they pulled out)

        AWS the sued saying MS doesnt meet the requirements and they should have won as the only viable bidder.

  4. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Coat

    Is it a case of sour grapes, or is it a legitimate concern?

    Only time will tell.

    Packing up my stuff to go over to greener pastures. --->

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Not Surprise

    No matter who won the contract there were going to be (meritless) lawsuits claiming it was not properly awarded. A contract this big is bound to get scrutiny. With hardware (ships, planes, etc.) it is easier for the losers to still get some subcontracts as a consolation prize from the winner. Plus there is often another project to bid on in the near future. With this type of project it's all-or-nothing, the prime is not going to subcontract out anything worthwhile to get the losing bidders.

    1. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: Not Surprise

      The only winners will be Russia, China and the people running the legacy environment for the DoD.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Private Military Contractors for Novel Space Missions/Future Civil Virtual Defence Projects.

    FFS, Oracle and Amazon Web Services, stop whining like two jilted schoolgirls and think about setting up your own JEDI Operations. It aint rocket science, is it?

    Give the military something else to think about, exercising and exhausting their great matter if you think they are worth it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Private... ...Projects.

      It's working

      https://youtu.be/Q64AVbtrRj4

      an oldie, but a goodie

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Private Military Contractors for Novel Space Missions/Future Civil Virtual Defence Projects.

      Of course, that last sentence should be inviting the military to think of something else exercising and exhausting their grey matter if they think IT is worth it.

  7. ThinkingMonkey

    Is that really your bottom dollar?

    If Amazon could afford to provide their unmatched, spectacular service that is (at least) like, 11,000 times better than Microsoft's for "tens of millions of dollars less", why didn't they bid that the first go-round? It reminds me of those street vendors that ask 100 quid for a t-shirt, you say "I only have 2 quid." and he says "Okay, sold."

    1. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Re: Is that really your bottom dollar?

      Why does it need to be 11,000 times better??

      Surely reaching the stated procurement performance thresholds and price is enough and then ‘better’ will be objective.

      A USA indigenous SUV will be about the same price as a Japanese or Korean SUV... but on warranty and reliability and general CSAT metrics ‘it being better’ you’d choose (a US built) Honda/Acura/Toyota and Kia/Hyundai all day over Ford/GMC/Dodge/Cadillac etc...

  8. Dinanziame Bronze badge
    Trollface

    Next DoD contract to be awarded by a fair dice roll

    cutting any possible claim of inequality or interference.

    1. Giles C Bronze badge

      Re: Next DoD contract to be awarded by a fair dice roll

      Not without a 100 page specification document for the dice and another 300 page methodology document

      Weighted dice.....

  9. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Not just clouds

    This will be decided in a battle over the nitty-gritty.

    Having worked as an evaluator0 for major government contracts (just little ones - hundreds of millions), no proposal is ever fully compliant. Then you get into questions of how the companies support item 1, 2, etc. Then you evaluate and rank each one. If I had to guess (based on no knowledge of the details of the Request for Proposal) I would say that deciding factor was existing IT infrastructure (which MS has due to its Windows contract with DoD) and that Amazon's experience on the CIA contract was not as significant. After all, the military likes "boots on the ground."

    It will be years before this is sorted.

    1. Concrete Gannet

      Re: Not just clouds

      Agreed. AWS's objections seem to be a combination of assertions "we're years ahead, how could anybody be remotely competitive?" and "see that corner of the requirements, one thousandth of the overall spec and dollar value? Well Microsoft didn't precisely meet them. In our judgement."

      I think any other large customer contemplating a deal of this scale will be marking AWS down. They are not respecting the customer at all. AWS should eat humble pie on this one, recognise customers don't see their product in the same way they do, and work out what to do differently next time.

      If customers can't immediately see the innate superiority of their product, maybe that's because it isn't there.

  10. Securitymoose

    Amazon should perhaps source less of their stuff from China?

    Maybe this is the underlying reason. Think about that, Jie-fu Bezos.

  11. Michael Habel Silver badge

    But, what I want to know is how much does Lucas Didny Worl make off the use of the Star Wars IP?

  12. TireIron

    A Worrying Trend Is Starting...

    The one where a company lose a bid for a contract so you go to court until they win.

    I believe this is going to be a trend that will grow over the coming years for those companies with deep pockets.

    Might be quicker to let the courts decide who should win a bid,

    Then we might end up with the courts be sued! That might be interesting,

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: A Worrying Trend Is Starting...

      Well if the president hates the CEO of one of the companies, and another company gets awarded it when they didn't meet all the criteria, one should be suspicious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A Worrying Trend Is Starting...

        Bezos hated first and even bought a newspaper to shout it louder, while playing loosely with truth....

        Even if it was suspicious, it's kind of known to be a lousy marketing technique.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A Worrying Trend Is Starting...

        Clearly AWS are going to try to keep appeals going until January hoping for a change in the business environment.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Certainly this could not have anything to do with personal animosity between Trumpkin and Bezos, could it? Or his ownership of the Washington Post? I am afraid this is just how the kleptocratic and childish US administration works these days........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's nothing new about an administration being childish. You're giving the current one too much credit for inventiveness and change - far too much. I don't see anything new here - other than the insistence of those always looking for something to point out being more intense than ever. In other words, the outsiders are the ones reaching new heights of childishness.

      They can't seem to realize that it drives more people to support those who seem to be unfairly attacked.

  14. EnviableOne Silver badge

    AWS Won The tender

    Oracle,IBM, Hitachi, GCP, AWS and Azure all responded to the JEDI RFP

    GCP pulled out, as they couldnt meet the requirements cost effectivley

    Hitachi got ejected in round 1

    Oracle and IBM got ejected in round 2 due to not being able to fullfill the whole contract

    AWS and MS got shortlisted,

    DoD went back to the pair over the details, and requested MS beefed up some areas of theirs, they decided not to,

    AWS was the only bidder to meet all the requirements and was about to be awarded the contract, untill Trump stuck his oar in.

    Mark Esper announced he would review the process before it was awarded, then with his son working for IBM, had to recuse himself

    his deputy under pressure from POTUS said there were some issues with how the latter rounds were performed or something like that and went back to the initial Proposals, and awarded to MS, as their bid was cheaper (but their bid didnt fullfill all the requirements.)

    Oracle and IBM filed Suit based on the Open door between AWS and DoD, which they recon gave AWS more influence over the process, but this was thrown out all the way up the courts.

    AWS filed their suit afterthe review awarded the contract to MS, stating that MS's bid did not meet the requirements, so they should not have been awarded the contract. Based on the briefs from both sides, the court granted Amazon an injuction to stop MS starting work untill the case was settled.

    IMHO, the lot of them are shady SOBs and the only ones making money off this are lawyers.

    However, the only bid to fully meet DoDs requirements was Amazon's and it should have won

    However as Cheeto-in-chief hates Jeff, his dusty fingers are all over the award to his mate SatNad

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