The enterprise IT services business of military contractor General Dynamics will resell the cloud services of the two largest cloud providers to US federal agencies.

General Dynamics Information Technology will offer Microsoft Azure to all of its federal customers, and make Amazon Web Services available to Defense agencies through the milCloud 2.0 contract.

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Helping the world's largest military slowly move to the cloud

The connected soldier
– Sebastian Moss

GDIT signed a Microsoft Partner Agreement for Online Services-Government, which gives its federal customers the capability to access Azure services and offerings, including the classified regions of Azure Government. The company was previously awarded the $4.4 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract for back-office cloud services, which will also primarily focus on providing Microsoft services, namely Office 365.

“Microsoft and GDIT have long partnered to support the most complex missions across the government sector,” said Greg Myers, VP of Microsoft Federal. “This agreement will further solidify this relationship through GDIT’s deep knowledge of the government programs to enable cloud technology to support modernization and digital transformation efforts across the federal government.”

Separately, GDIT has made Amazon Web Services available through the milCloud 2.0 contract. MilCloud 2.0 serves the Department of Defense's "fourth estate" - the 28 agencies that are not part of the Army, Navy, or Air Force. It includes intelligence, signals, and missile defense.

It was awarded to GDIT in 2017 for $498m, with the cloud service run from DoD data centers. GDIT has since added multiple partners, including Oracle, Cisco Systems, Intel, Red Hat, and VMWare.

But the agreement with AWS is the biggest step towards a hybrid cloud yet.

“Through this collaboration between AWS and GDIT, DoD customers can access leading cloud services from AWS in areas such as compute, storage, database, networking, analytics, machine learning, migration, security, and more,” said Dave Levy, VP of US Government, Nonprofit and Healthcare at AWS.

“We look forward to continuing to support the department’s modernization efforts and the mission-critical needs of our nation’s warfighters.”

Both GDIT cloud partnerships come as Microsoft and Amazon fight over an even larger contract - the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, a 10-year deal to provide most of the military's compute needs, for as much as $10bn.

After a lengthy and contentious process, JEDI was awarded to Microsoft in October 2019. However, work has yet to begin due to an ongoing legal challenge by AWS.

Among other complaints, the company alleges it was blocked from winning the deal due to then-President Trump's dislike of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post. Should the court decide to review that challenge, it could require lengthy depositions of ex-White House staff and the former President, which could delay JEDI further.

This, the DoD claimed, could cause it to scrap JEDI entirely.