The US Department of Defense revealed on July 6 it canceled the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud solicitation with contract termination procedures already underway.
The Pentagon said it made the decision as the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs due to evolving requirements, increased cloud conversancy, and industry advances.
The department cancelled the $10 billion JEDI effort after awarding Microsoft the contract for work under the program in 2019. Amazon Web Services (AWS) subsequently challenged the single-company award over rumors the decision had been influenced by the White House.
In its statement on Tuesday, Pentagon said it continues to have unmet cloud capability gaps for enterprise-wide, commercial cloud services at all three classification levels that work at the tactical edge, at scale — these needs have only advanced in recent years with efforts such as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Acceleration (ADA) initiative.
“JEDI was developed at a time when the department’s needs were different and both the CSPs technology and our cloud conversancy was less mature. In light of new initiatives like JADC2 and AI and Data Acceleration (ADA), the evolution of the cloud ecosystem within DoD, and changes in user requirements to leverage multiple cloud environments to execute mission, our landscape has advanced and a new way-ahead is warranted to achieve dominance in both traditional and non-traditional warfighting domains,” said John Sherman, acting DoD Chief Information Officer.
Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) as the new solution
Concurrent with the cancellation of the JEDI request for proposals (RFP), the Pentagon announced its intent for new cloud efforts. The Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) will be a multi-cloud/multi-vendor Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.
The department intends to seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely the Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as available market research indicates that these two vendors are the only cloud service providers (CSPs) capable of meeting the department’s requirements. Sherman said this could happen by October this year.
However, as noted in its pre-solicitation notice, the department will engage with industry and continue its market research to determine whether any other US-based hyperscale CSPs can also meet the DoD’s requirements.