The National Security Agency has re-awarded its $10 billion WildandStormy cloud computing contract to Amazon Web Services.

The state surveillance agency awarded AWS the secret contract back in August 2021, but the deal became public due to a bid protest by rival Microsoft.

NSA Utah Data Center
– Parker Higgins/Electronic Frontier Foundation

In October, the Government Accountability Office sided with Microsoft and said that there were issues with the procurement process that ultimately favored AWS.

The GAO called for a reevaluation, which the NSA has now concluded - with it reaffirming its decision to turn to Amazon.

Details of the “Hybrid Compute Initiative” are limited, but this could be part of the NSA's overhaul of its Intelligence Community GovCloud primary classified data repository.

The NSA also operates a huge data center in Utah, launched in 2014 for a cost of $1.5 billion. It has other data centers across the US and around the world, including in the UK and Denmark.

Last year, the NSA separately awarded a 10-year, $2 billion contract to Hewlett Packard Enterprise for high-performance computing technology services. The deal will include a combination of HPE Apollo systems and HPE ProLiant servers, built and managed by HPE out of an undisclosed QTS data center.

Microsoft's attempt to block the WildandStormy deal came after AWS successfully managed to scupper the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract which initially went to Microsoft.

The Department of Defense contract was awarded to Microsoft in 2019, but held up in courts by AWS. It has now been canceled, with the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability set to divide the workloads between AWS, Azure, Google, and Oracle.

The Central Intelligence Agency is trying a different route - its C2E contract, which could be worth tens of billions, was awarded jointly to AWS, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and IBM. Each will compete for specific task orders.

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