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kuhnertdm

DoD names cloud providers Microsoft and Amazon as finalists in $10 billion RFP process, eliminating major players Oracle and IBM

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/11/much-to-oracles-chagrin-pentagon-names-microsoft-and-amazon-as-10b-jedi-cloud-contract-finalists/

 

Story: The US DoD yesterday announced their two finalists to their $10 billion RFP process that has been going on for years, which invited major cloud services providers to submit proposals for consideration for the contract. This eliminates two major players: IBM and Oracle. Google had been in the running until they voluntarily dropped out last year, citing ethical concerns with using AI for warfare purposes.

 

There has been a lot of tension between the major players due to claims that the process unfairly favored Amazon's existing AWS platform, and that they really shouldn't have set it up as a single winner anyway, and should have rather made it a collaborative thing. Setting it up as a "winner-takes-all" scenario could virtually guarantee that the winner will receive future, potentially bigger contracts, as they would already own the cloud platforms being currently used by the government.

 

IBM and Oracle have both made major public complaints about these two claims. Oracle has even attempted to sue the DoD over the "winner-takes-all" process, and has also secured private dinners with President Trump to attempt to convince him to interfere to change the process. These protests have obviously not worked now that both IBM and Oracle have been forced out of the running.

 

Amazon and Microsoft's cloud platforms (AWS and Azure respectively) have far outpaced their competitors in terms of market share. AWS has the lead with about 31-34%, while Azure is sitting at 13-18%, but growing about twice as quickly as AWS. For reference, Google Cloud is sitting at 6-8% but growing slightly faster than Azure.

 

Opinion: There's merit in the claims that this shouldn't be a winner-takes-all situation. Even beyond the unfairness of future contracts being awarded exclusively to the winner of this one, this could also remove any incentive for the winner to improve on their platform in terms of security, performance, etc. Enforcing competition with a collaborative contract would be ideal, but I'm also not too terribly sad with Oracle getting completely shut out of the running. Besides their shady practices regarding the RFP process, they've also proven to be rather anti-consumer in the past with non-government-related projects, such as suing Google for the use of Java in Android, and turning the first party Java JDK/JRE into a commercially licensed product, forcing countless companies who have ingrained their entire software base in Java to now have to pay out the ass to use it.

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56 minutes ago, kuhnertdm said:

There's merit in the claims that this shouldn't be a winner-takes-all situation.

Even if they're awarded this contract the DoD will go after the awardee with magnifying glasses to ensure their data will be 200% safe on the cloud servers. They'll request feature-frozen instances, specific versions of every software without updates, etc, etc, before finally making something go live. The last time I was around their tech support was when they were upgrading from Vista to 7, while 8.1 was freshly released.

 

Now imagine doing that in-depth analysis for two different cloud providers.

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15 minutes ago, hobobobo said:

Sounds good, id rather skynet be buggy and prone to hacking then iron-clad

*flying robot gun drone swarm*

"AAAAAAA THE WORST IS HERE RUN EVERYONE"

*drones suddenly stop mid-air*

"...???"

 

/* Let's check this one off the list: Schedule your update now!*/

 


 

alternative gag:

 

*flying robot gun drone swarm*

"AAAAAAA THE WORST IS HERE RUN EVERYONE"

*laughing Alexa sounds*

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I find it sadly hilarious that Google drops out citing ethical concerns, yet they're still working on that censored search engine for China.

 

Google is full of shit.


Computer's don't make errors. What they do, they do on purpose. By now your name and particulars have been fed into every laptop, desktop, mainframe and supermarket scanner that collectively make up the global information conspiracy, otherwise known as The Beast.

 

You just be careful. Computers have already beaten the Communists at chess. Next thing you know, they'll be beating humans.

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But... Uh... What is this?

 

Every single source I've found so far is just talking about these companies competing for the contract and investigations over conflict of interest. What the hell is the contract? What sort of thing would Google make an ethical excuse to back out of?

 

At first I just thought I'd have to google another source, but after searching a bit I feel like I'm going insane.


"Do as I say, not as I do."

-Because you actually care if it makes sense.

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38 minutes ago, Dash Lambda said:

But... Uh... What is this?

 

Every single source I've found so far is just talking about these companies competing for the contract and investigations over conflict of interest. What the hell is the contract? What sort of thing would Google make an ethical excuse to back out of?

 

At first I just thought I'd have to google another source, but after searching a bit I feel like I'm going insane.

Google's ethics are sort of asinine. The developers they employ would bitch and moan about assisting the US government or military in any way, but they largely ignore that Google is aiding the Chinese government in a lot of ways.

 

I'd mark this up to general ignorance of their own companies actions, combined with a little bit of bias. A good chunk of those developers probably see "communist chinese government" and think "well it's communism, and that's good (somehow) so what's the problem?".

 

This is pure assumption based on past history (of things that google has done) combined with the knowledge that Google employs heavily left-leaning personnel. As do most major tech companies.


Computer's don't make errors. What they do, they do on purpose. By now your name and particulars have been fed into every laptop, desktop, mainframe and supermarket scanner that collectively make up the global information conspiracy, otherwise known as The Beast.

 

You just be careful. Computers have already beaten the Communists at chess. Next thing you know, they'll be beating humans.

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Just now, Trik'Stari said:

Google's ethics are sort of asinine. The developers they employ would bitch and moan about assisting the US government or military in any way, but they largely ignore that Google is aiding the Chinese government in a lot of ways.

 

I'd mark this up to general ignorance of their own companies actions, combined with a little bit of bias. A good chunk of those developers probably see "communist chinese government" and think "well it's communism, and that's good (somehow) so what's the problem?".

 

This is pure assumption based on past history (of things that google has done) combined with the knowledge that Google employs heavily left-leaning personnel. As do most major tech companies.

I can't help but wonder how long it will be before google ceases to be a major player in anything.   They are turning down the opportunity to earn more money based on arbitrary morals, they are intentional limiting their talent pool but insisting on a equity of outcome and their business model is largely incompatible with the EU. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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1 minute ago, mr moose said:

I can't help but wonder how long it will be before google ceases to be a major player in anything.   They are turning down the opportunity to earn more money based on arbitrary morals, they are intentional limiting their talent pool but insisting on a equity of outcome and their business model is largely incompatible with the EU. 

At some point I would begin to wonder if they could be considered a hostile company, if they continue to aid what is essentially a hostile foreign government.

 

I am not at all joking about this. It's a serious question that needs to be asked. Just how much data are they sharing with the Chinese government, about American users or other users from other countries, besides China.


Computer's don't make errors. What they do, they do on purpose. By now your name and particulars have been fed into every laptop, desktop, mainframe and supermarket scanner that collectively make up the global information conspiracy, otherwise known as The Beast.

 

You just be careful. Computers have already beaten the Communists at chess. Next thing you know, they'll be beating humans.

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1 minute ago, Trik'Stari said:

At some point I would begin to wonder if they could be considered a hostile company, if they continue to aid what is essentially a hostile foreign government.

 

I am not at all joking about this. It's a serious question that needs to be asked. Just how much data are they sharing with the Chinese government, about American users or other users from other countries, besides China.

I think a whole lot of inside negotiation and closed doors deals would occur before we the public knew about it.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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1 minute ago, mr moose said:

I think a whole lot of inside negotiation and closed doors deals would occur before we the public knew about it.

Oh I'm certain of it. That would likely involve them providing the US government with all the data it would want about Chinese users.

 

At a certain point, we are going to have to limit the size of some of these tech companies to the national level. Social media companies being international companies is probably a bad idea in general. Nothing to keep them from playing both sides and manipulating both populations in some fashion.


Computer's don't make errors. What they do, they do on purpose. By now your name and particulars have been fed into every laptop, desktop, mainframe and supermarket scanner that collectively make up the global information conspiracy, otherwise known as The Beast.

 

You just be careful. Computers have already beaten the Communists at chess. Next thing you know, they'll be beating humans.

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1 minute ago, Trik'Stari said:

 Social media companies being international companies is probably a bad idea in general.

There are certainly downsides to social media being international.  The amount of completely stupid and irrevocably dumb arguments and accusations made about Aussie things based on US only issues is phenomenal.    


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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2 hours ago, Trik'Stari said:

-snip-

I... Uh...

 

Yes, Google's ethics make no sense. But they made an excuse citing ethics. And that makes me wonder even more what this contract is.

 

Now I just feel like I'm going more insane.


"Do as I say, not as I do."

-Because you actually care if it makes sense.

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4 minutes ago, Dash Lambda said:

I... Uh...

 

Yes, Google's ethics make no sense. But they made an excuse citing ethics. And that makes me wonder even more what this contract is.

 

Now I just feel like I'm going more insane.

It’s the Department of Defence, so it’s everything and anything to do with the military. The rationale is, by helping DoD by allowing them to use their cloud service they’re aiding in war. I think I recall reading once a particular concern was around using their AI products for drones (drone strikes).

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1 hour ago, schwellmo92 said:

It’s the Department of Defence, so it’s everything and anything to do with the military. The rationale is, by helping DoD by allowing them to use their cloud service they’re aiding in war. I think I recall reading once a particular concern was around using their AI products for drones (drone strikes).

Yeah as "ironic" is it is for google to be saying this (cos they harvest data real good), imo targeting you for an advertisement is quite a bit lower on the "bad things list" than potentially being a cog in w/e "typical shady military shit that results in death/war" machine that the gov does.


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3 hours ago, Dash Lambda said:

I... Uh...

 

Yes, Google's ethics make no sense. But they made an excuse citing ethics. And that makes me wonder even more what this contract is.

 

Now I just feel like I'm going more insane.

 

They want an office365 account for each department.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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