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williamcll

The force is (not) with you - Amazon to file lawsuit against defense department decision

TVwazhere

Please keep the discussion on topic about Tech (In this case, Amazon web services and Microsoft Azure)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

On October 25th, the department of defense elected to use Microsoft's servers to operate their ten billion dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud network. Oracle and Amazon were not pleased and Jeff has taken as a step further.

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Amazon Web Services said Thursday it will file a lawsuit at the Court of Federal Claims challenging the Defense Department’s decision to award its multibillion-dollar JEDI Cloud contract to rival Microsoft.

AWS was long believed to be the favorite throughout the course of the lengthy and contentious procurement process. But the Pentagon announced on Oct. 25 that it had chosen Microsoft instead.

In deciding to lodge the challenge, which was first reported by Federal Times, Amazon reasoned it was “uniquely experienced” to deliver cloud technology to the military.

“We also believe it’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence,” an AWS spokesman said an in emailed statement to Federal News Network. “Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias — and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.” The insinuation of political influence appeared to be a reference to comments President Trump has made about the JEDI contract. The president, who has a running feud with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, told reporters in July that he was “getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon … They’re saying it wasn’t competitively bid. We’re looking at it very seriously.”

 

Some members of Congress had also asked the White House to intervene in the JEDI acquisition process, while others had urged the administration to leave the procurement to acquisition professionals.

But after the contract award, Defense officials were insistent that the final decision was not — and could not have been — subject to political interference. Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer told the Senate Armed Services Committee during an Oct. 29 hearing that the identities of the JEDI source selection team were kept secret during deliberations, and no one attempted to contact any of the members to sway their decision. “In my discussions with the deputy secretary of Defense and the secretary of Defense, at no time throughout this process have I ever shared any proprietary source information with them, nor have I ever divulged — when we got to the conclusion — who the awardee was,” he said.

 

An AWS official said the company provided formal notice to the Department of Justice, DoD, Microsoft, and the Court of Federal Claims that it intended to protest the contract last Friday, but could not provide a timeline as to when an actual complaint would be filed with the court. No suit had been filed as of Thursday afternoon, according to the court’s electronic records system. Asked for comment on the AWS announcement on Thursday, the Pentagon said only that it would not speculate on potential litigation.The contract has a theoretical value of up to $10 billion and could last for as long as 10 years if the Pentagon exercises all of its options. However, when the department awarded the contract last month, it said it anticipated that it would only award Microsoft $210 million in task orders during the initial two-year base period.

 

Amazon’s suit would become the second piece of litigation challenging the JEDI procurement in federal courts. Oracle, which was excluded from the competition under what it says were overly-restrictive gate criteria, has a case pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Ironically, Oracle’s legal challenge is based, at least in part, on allegations that the Pentagon structured JEDI in ways that favored AWS and that DoD employees with ties to the company introduced serious conflicts of interest into the procurement process. The Defense Department’s inspector general is probing those allegations, some of which the department has already acknowledged  may have crossed ethical lines.

Oracle also alleges that DoD violated procurement law by structuring JEDI as a winner-take-all single-award contract, an approach that it says only AWS favored.

“DoD, accordingly, wrongfully deprived Oracle of the opportunity to compete under a multiple-award solicitation — a prejudicial injury,” company attorneys wrote in their appeal.

Source: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2019/11/amazon-files-protest-to-dods-jedi-cloud-contract/

Thoughts: Could there have been under table deals? Hard to say, but too bad Azure doesn't have as good of a free cloud service as AWS have. 


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Sounds to me that Amazon is just salty that they weren't the one chosen for once


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Something something chosen one. Something something bring balance to the force. 

 

Amazon right now:
Image result for salty


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2 hours ago, themaniac said:

Sounds to me that Amazon is just salty that they weren't the one chosen for once

Well, it is a 10 billion dollar contract. But there are points that indicates that AWS would be superior. While Azure is great, AWS is notably more mature platform, in addition, AWS has larger data-centers allowing it to provide a superior quality of service over Azure. That said, Azure has greater global reach thanks to its multiple (albeit smaller) data-centers.

 

We don't know the details of the the contract.. it says 'storage", but is it only storage? will part of the data or have additional infrastructure (applications that access the data) access to select countries or US only? Maybe better world coverage was preferred. We don't know. So we can't have much of an opinion on this. All we know, is that Trump and Amazon CEO don't like each other, and that may have influence the decision making. Maybe that is what Amazon is pointing at. Or simply, maybe that hatred has nothing to do with the decision, and the CIA got sold on the benefits of Azure over Amazon (you can bet heavy lobbying was done by both parties)

 

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10 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

But there are points that indicates that AWS would be superior.

It's irrelevant if Microsoft is being more cooperative with audits for security or if their security systems are superior (or more compatible with the DOD's existing systems). DOD security requirements are absurd.

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25 minutes ago, williamcll said:

Thoughts: Could there have been under table deals? Hard to say, but too bad Azure doesn't have as good of a free cloud service as AWS have. 

Well... in general, companies and government doesn't care about the free cloud service. As it doesn't fit their needs. This is more for individuals or proof of concept done by a company or something along those lines. And the reality of things, all theses cloud companies, do special pricing/deals when it comes to any big contracts. You can be sure when you hear a big company going with a cloud company, it is under a multi-year special offer, and not prices listed on their respective website.

 

As the price is the same, it could be additional services/features that were provided, and it does happen, that a company might not have all the requirements exactly, but offers so much more that they might value more.

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Sounds to me like Amazon is pissed they lost out on a $10Bn contract. As much as Trump tries to interfere in all kinds of things, I don't think he did here. The Pentagon seemed to have a pretty good selection process, and the selection members were kept secret even from Trump.

 

Of course Amazon is going to try and claim "No really, only we could do this!", but the realistic answer is that either them or Microsoft would be well suited for the contract. Both of them could likely do an excellent job. I doubt there's anything unique about Amazon that would mean Microsoft couldn't provide a proper solution.


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Waste of taxpayers' money. They should have hired Wendell for a week and DIY the whole thing.

 

 

 

So Oracle claims it was rigged for Amazon, and Amazon claims it was rigged for Microsoft - it's almost like they bid was more contested in the lobby room than in the procurement itself :DBut at least it isn't Equifax this time :P

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Frankly, I wouldn't trust either of them for a high security contract and both have become far too powerful (where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?). In this case, Bozos (sic) has arrogantly gotten too big for his britches.


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49 minutes ago, Lady Fitzgerald said:

Frankly, I wouldn't trust either of them for a high security contract and both have become far too powerful (where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him?). In this case, Bozos (sic) has arrogantly gotten too big for his britches.

I would assume that they asked for dedicated servers, separated in a cache with security systems, with added security measures to connect to them, have everything encrypted in a certain matter of the CIA standard. Would someone try to hack it? I am sure the CIA is used to this on a daily basis.

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I guess the Microsoft lobbyist won. I guess the DOD preferred one free year of xbox game pass over one free year of amazon prime. In all seriousness though I doubt anything will come of this. It would be very hard to prove that Microsoft is unworthy of winning the contract. 

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3 hours ago, pas008 said:

So they put all their eggs in 1 basket?

 

Wonder what could happen?

Assuming they won the contract because they met all the DoD requirements for who works on it, who controls the encryption and where is is built.  I.E MS are just glorified hdd installers.  Then I guess it's not so much want could happen,  but what is much less likely to happen. by having only limited builds in specific locations and only one company doing the physical work they lower security risks.


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The epitome of the term 'frivalous lawsuit'.


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4 hours ago, Brooksie359 said:

I guess the Microsoft lobbyist won. I guess the DOD preferred one free year of xbox game pass over one free year of amazon prime. In all seriousness though I doubt anything will come of this. It would be very hard to prove that Microsoft is unworthy of winning the contract. 

Turns out the secretary of defense's son is just a huge Forza mark. 

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These sorts of lawsuits are fairly typical for big ticket DoD Contracts. It's not like the DoD is going to black-list them over it, and there's enough money at stake that spending a few million of lawyers means its worth while. Boeing managed to flip the tanker competition through a similar lawsuit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KC-X. With pretty much any government contract, there's likely to be enough raw errors on both sides to make it contestable, provided the main applicants are close enough in overall performance.

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7 minutes ago, SlimyPython said:

your kidding me?

Who owns Kidding Me?

 

Anyway whats so surprising about the CIA using AWS? Half* the internet runs from AWS.

*I don't actually know the real number and I'm too lazy to find out, its probably more like a third.


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