IBM has officially griped to a top US government watchdog about JEDI – the Pentagon's proposed 10-year $10bn single-vendor IT system for America’s Green Machine.
Whichever lucky lone supplier wins the coveted Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract will be responsible for providing all cloud activities for the military over the next decade, and will be worth billions of dollars in setup and running fees. However, IBM – like Oracle – takes issue with the idea that this should all be run by a single company.
“IBM knows what it takes to build a world-class cloud,” Big Blue said in a statement today after filing a complaint to Uncle Sam's Government Accountability Office.
“No business in the world would build a cloud the way JEDI would and then lock in to it for a decade. JEDI turns its back on the preferences of Congress and the administration, is a bad use of taxpayer dollars and was written with just one company in mind. America’s war fighters deserve better.”
The missive quotes a report by the US Office of Management and Budget that called for greater use of hybrid cloud systems run by multiple vendors. Having one company to run everything is not only bad practice, IBM argued, but is also less secure, since it gives an attacker only one target to aim at and only one target to bring down.
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IBM also claims that the unusual procedures for taking bids on the JEDI contract are discriminatory, since they seem designed to prefer one particular vendor over another. While the unusual bid submission procedures have been highlighted before, IBM didn’t name names as to who it thinks is getting preferential treatment.
It certainly isn’t Google, which has already said it won’t be bidding on the JEDI contract. “We are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles,” the Chocolate Factory said on Monday – which seems a little rich for an ads giant that is also preparing a censored version of its search engine in China to further repress the Middle Kingdom's citizens.
Oracle certainly doesn’t think it’s getting an easy ride: it filed its own JEDI protest with the US watchdog in August, claiming that the single-vendor approach is anticompetitive and would lock the military into a single legacy provider.
Which leaves Amazon and Microsoft, both of which have both remained quiet on JEDI so far, but are sure to be vying for that 11-figure payday. Traditionally, the US government has had a close relationship with Oracle and Redmond, and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos isn’t popular with the Trump regime. We assume Satya Nadella will have his fingers crossed for a massive contract win. ®