Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been named the winner of a $10 billion cloud computing contract, called “WildandStormy,” for the National Security Agency. But Microsoft, no doubt still salty about Amazon’s successful challenge of Redmond’s $10 billion JEDI contract with the Pentagon, filed a formal bid protest with the Government Accounting Office last month.
Microsoft says that if the NSA had properly evaluated the bids, Microsoft would have won. The GAO will decide the outcome of the protest by the end of October. The news was first reported by the trade publication Washington Technology.
The award and protest come as US intelligence agencies have been looking at overhauling their computing and storage resources over the last several years. Currently, many of the agencies’ cloud operations use so-called GovCloud products from various vendors, including Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. The initial move to the cloud was spurred years ago by the exponential increase in data that intelligence agencies were gathering and analyzing. That increase was outpacing the agencies’ ability to store it all in-house. AWS was an early winner and secured a $600 million contract with the CIA in 2013.