Microsoft protests Amazon's $10 billion NSA cloud contract win

Microsoft and AWS are fighting over yet another $10 billion cloud contract. This time it's NSA's secret intelligence-data contract that's in the crosshairs.

Years of back-and-forth between AWS and Microsoft over who would be the ultimate winner of the $10 billion, 10-year JEDI cloud contract resulted in Microsoft losing the deal it initially won. It's hard not to see Microsoft's recent protest of AWS's win of a $10 billion cloud contract with the National Security Agency (NSA) as retaliation. In any case, the latest war of the government cloud contracts is on.

As Nextgov reported earlier this week, at some point earlier this summer, the NSA awarded a "secret" cloud computing contract to AWS. On July 21, Microsoft filed a bid protest with the Government Accountability Office two weeks after being notified by the NSA that it had gone with AWS for "WildandStormy." Nextgov says this contract seems to be part of NSA's "attempt to modernize its primary classified data repository," known as the Intelligence Community GovCloud.

The NSA has been storing its data, including intelligence information from multiple repositories around the world into its internally operated data lake, which its own agents and those from other intelligence agencies can run queries and perform analytics agains, Nextgov explains. The goal of the NSA, as part of its so-called Hybrid Compute Initiative, is to move its intelligence data from its own servers to those operated by a commercial cloud vendor.

The Government Accountability Office will issue a decision about the Microsoft protest by October 29, Nextgov says.