Google Cloud DoD DIU Contract Impacts the Cloud Wars

Google Cloud skips the ill-fated JEDI contract competition and scores a DoD DIU contract.

Pam Baker

May 22, 2020

3 Min Read
Cloud Fight

Google Cloud scored a big win in landing a reported seven-figure Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) contract for its Anthos multicloud security tool. Earlier, Google withdrew from the Pentagon’s JEDI cloud contract competition citing a conflict in “AI principals.” Apparently the Google Cloud DoD DIU deal represents no conflict to the vendor.

Gordon McKenna is CTO of public cloud at Ensono, a large managed service provider.

“Google Cloud has stayed far away from the clash between Azure and AWS for the JEDI contract,” said McKenna. “But this new deal … shows it’s still working hard to compete in the same arena.”

While the $10 billion JEDI cloud contract, slated for a single vendor, and the Google Cloud DoD/DIU contract are important battles to win in the cloud wars, neither represents a total lockout for other vendors.


CloudCheckr’s Jeff Valentine

“Just because JEDI may be awarded to only one provider doesn’t mean that other providers aren’t able to sell directly to the DoD through other contract vehicles,” said Jeff Valentine, CTO at CloudCheckr. “The modernization of our country’s digital infrastructure is so important that all cloud providers and their respective resellers and managed service providers are needed to address it.”

However, Google is taking a pass on JEDI, and a win on DIU looks to be particularly savvy. And it may be even a prescient business move. The JEDI Cloud Contract has been a snarled mess for the past two-and-a-half years. The latest in a problem pile-up is AWS’ challenge to how the DoD handled the reconsideration process that a federal judge previously approved.

Multicloud Opportunities

By side-stepping that legal ruckus, and moving in on the growing multicloud opportunities, particularly in security, Google Cloud leaped ahead of its competition — at least for now.


Ensono’s Gordon McKenna

“The nature of this contract emphasizes the increasing investment in multicloud as more and more organizations want the added security that comes with storing workloads across various systems,” said McKenna. “However, managing a multicloud environment successfully requires continuous attention and complete visibility. So the providers that introduce more transparency, autonomy and flexibility in their services over the next year will be the more attractive option for similar deals in the future.”

Google Cloud’s new DIU contract is a pilot that the cloud giant hopes to soon scale to billion-dollar heights on par with the ill-fated JEDI contract. In any case, this win signals a sustained and growing interest in securing multicloud in the DIU realm that, while still trailing the private sector, may soon outgrow it.

“DIU’s secure cloud management project’s objective is to enhance our security and control when accessing commercial cloud services, without impacting performance and usability,” Jeff Kleck, DIU cyber portfolio director, told FedScoop.

Google Cloud is, of course, eager to fulfill DIU’s security objectives far beyond this pilot contract. Mike Daniels is vice president, global public sector, Google Cloud.

“Google Cloud is a pioneer in ‘zero trust’ security and in deploying innovative approaches to protecting and securing networks worldwide,” said Daniels. “We’re honored to partner with DIU on this critical initiative to protect its network from bad actors that pose threats to our national security.”

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About the Author(s)

Pam Baker

A prolific writer and analyst, Pam Baker’s published work appears in many leading print and online publications including Security Boulevard, PCMag, Institutional Investor magazine, CIO, TechTarget, and InformationWeek, as well as many others. Her latest book is “Data Divination: Big Data Strategies.” She’s also a popular speaker at technology conferences as well as specialty conferences such as the Excellence in Journalism events and a medical research and healthcare event at the NY Academy of Sciences.

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