January 24, 2020
The three biggest names in public cloud are making some news of interest to the channel. Here’s the latest roundup.
Amazon Submits Official Request to Halt Microsoft’s Work on JEDI
As expected, Amazon has made its official request to a U.S. federal court to stop rival Microsoft from implementing the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud program.
Amazon made its move on Jan. 22, even as Microsoft plans to start implementing JEDI in early February.
Amazon is suing the Department of Defense, alleging “improper influence” from President Trump swayed the decision to Microsoft and its Azure platform. Trump has maintained a public beef with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, which remains critical of Trump.
“The publicly available record of President Trump’s statements and actions demonstrates that he repeatedly attacked and vilified his perceived political enemy … and then intervened in this procurement process to thwart the fair administration of DoD’s procurement of technology and services critical to the modernization of the U.S. military,” Amazon wrote in the filing, according to The Hill.
The DoD has said it chose the vendor with the most merit, and at least one analyst says Microsoft has security chops Amazon does not.
Meanwhile, Amazon contends Microsoft should stop all JEDI efforts until the courts settle the matter.
“It is common practice to stay contract performance while a protest is pending and it’s important that the numerous evaluation errors and blatant political interference that impacted the JEDI award decision be reviewed,” an AWS spokesperson told The Hill.
Microsoft Bringing Azure to Israel
Microsoft is developing its first cloud server farm in Israel, the company said. Redmond expects to launch Azure in the region next year, with Office 365 soon to follow.
“The investment in a new Israel data center region will enable customers to use the most advanced technologies and adhere to data residency requirements to store data within Israel,” Microsoft wrote in a Jan. 22 blog.
Further, Microsoft said, Azure will help businesses in Israel to “drive their digital transformation.”
Israeli news outlet Haaretz called Microsoft’s entrance into the country “good news primarily for Israel’s government, which last year launched a project named Nimbus, which entails transferring the government’s IT services to the cloud.”
The government is not keen to have its data leave the country’s borders and will look to Azure to ensure that, the newspaper said. In addition, Israel’s government plans to invest $144 million in cloud computing, “and it’s likely that this was one of Microsoft’s considerations in opening a local server farm,” according to reporter Amitai Ziv.
Other industries stand to benefit from the local cloud servers, Ziv noted, including startups, financial firms, health organizations and more.
The Israel investment expands Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure to 56 cloud regions in 21 countries.
Google Cloud Increases Support Options for Large Enterprises
Large enterprises using Google Cloud Platform now have a new option for service needs that go beyond what the existing Technical Account Management tier can provide.
Google Cloud’s Atul Nanda
Google Cloud on Jan. 15 launched Premier Support, promising around-the-clock, 15-minute response times for critical issues. Channel partners may resell the offering, adding value to their portfolios.
“Premium Support has been designed to better meet the needs of our customers running modern cloud technology,” Atul Nanda, vice president of cloud support at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog. “And we’ve made investments to improve the customer experience, with an updated support model that is proactive, unified, centered around the customer, and flexible to meet the differing needs of their businesses.”
Google Cloud said its Premium Support teams will know each customer’s applications, systems and architecture, provide training and enablement, and troubleshoot third-party systems, among other benefits.
Nanda said Google Cloud will keep rolling out additional features and support plans throughout the year.
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