Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, July 24, 2024

CIA Said to Prep Multi-Cloud Initiative 

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A new spy cloud has emerged from the shadows.

The CIA is reportedly leading a multibillion procurement effort on behalf of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies dubbed IC Commercial Cloud Enterprise, according to the website FCW. Unlike the contentious and stalled Defense Department cloud procurement, the new intelligence cloud initiative would involve multiple vendors, the website reported Monday (April 1).

The $10 billion DoD cloud competition known as JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, has been riven by bidder protests objecting a planned single-source award.

By contrast, the CIA-led cloud effort is expected to be unveiled as a multi-phase procurement with an initial solicitation to bidders as early as this month, according to the report. The first contract awards for what is described as “foundational cloud services” cloud come as early as July 2021, FCW reported.

Cloud software services and data management tools would reportedly be acquired via a later procurement.

In 2013, the CIA quietly awarded a $600 million contract to Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) to provide for private cloud capabilities. The spy agency has since led U.S. intelligence efforts to shift sensitive operations to the cloud, including enterprise data hub platforms intended for “pervasive analytics” applications.

Since launching the on-premises CIA cloud, known as Commercial Cloud Services, or “C2S,” the agency has stressed its intention "to partner with industry to bring in the most state-of-the-art technology commercially available.”

AWS competitors such as IBM (NYSE: IBM) interpret that as a shift to multi-cloud deployments as a way to preserve legacy applications while maintaining the ability to upgrade existing cloud platforms, FCW reported.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).