The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud involves the migration of defence department data to a commercially operated cloud system.
Regardless of the Pentagon's decision for a cloud provider in the winner-take-all, $10 billion award, a Microsoft partner told CRN the new capabilities will be a boon for engagements with the federal government and enterprise customers. Bids were due to be submitted on Friday. The highly lucrative contract, said to be worth up to $10 billion, has attracted the interest of the biggest cloud companies, including Amazon Web Services Inc., Google LLC, IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp.
Following details of the involvement of Google in Project Maven became known, thousands of employees at Google signed petitions asking for the company to leave the project and dozens resigned as a show of protest.
A Google spokesperson stated that they have been involved in several on- cloud projects for the United States defense but have chose to stay away from the JEDI project.
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Earlier this year, Google decided not to renew another defense contract called Project Maven, which provided artificial intelligence for the assesement of drone imagery.
Google drew up a new policy on artificial intelligence this year, following staff complaints about its work with the U.S. government on use of AI in weapons systems. According to a noted United States newspaper, Pichai met important people from the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, the Defense Department directorate which oversees the artificial intelligence drone system called Project Maven.
Google workers don't want their employer doing business with the Pentagon. Competitors are anxious that Amazon has an inside track to the JEDI award because it has been the CIA's primary cloud provider for years and because the Pentagon's request for proposals includes highly specific requirements that only Amazon is likely to meet. The company stated that in working on such a project, it was directly involved in warfare.
The software company said October 9 that it will earn the certification required to host the government's most sensitive and classified information-a distinction previously held only by Amazon Web Services-by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Final requirements for the project were released in July after a months-long lobbying campaign in Washington by tech companies including Microsoft, International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp. that opposed the Pentagon's plans to choose just one victor for the project instead of splitting the contract among a number of providers.