Microsoft builds two data centres to store US military secret data amid JEDI battle

Microsoft announced last Wednesday (April.14th) that it is building two data centres designed exclusively to store US military data as it competes with rivals Amazon for a $10bn (£7.6bn) military cloud contract called JEDI.

Microsoft did not reveal the exact location of their data centres but said they are 500 miles apart from each other.

Military bosses at the Pentagon are planning to shift their data storage to a ‘cloud’ which it promises will have the highest level of security, according to the Daily Mail.

Data centres

Microsoft said it’s Azure Government Secret software is capable of moving classified government data, but it awaits accreditation from the Department of Defense (DoD) before it can transfer any secret data to the facilities.

The two centres provide “geographic resilience in disaster recovery (DR) scenarios and faster access to services across the country,” said Microsoft’s Lily Kim.

“In addition, we’re continuing our commitment to deliver government workloads across the full range of data classifications,” she added.

Earlier this month, Pentagon had selected, both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, as the two finalists for its $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract.

Tech companies including Oracle and IBM were eliminated from bidding as they did not meet “the minimum requirement” for the JEDI contract, according to the Daily Mail.

Google dropped out of the Pentagon cloud contract last year because it “couldn’t be assured that it would align” with their AI principles.

Google said its AI principles prohibit the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in weapons.

JEDI contract

The winner of the JEDI contract could be announced as early as mid-July, according to DoD spokesperson.

The Pentagon originally planned to reveal the winner of the contract in April, but the department has been investigating a potential conflict of interest in response to a lawsuit filed by Oracle.

Oracle voiced concern that a former Amazon employee was involved in the JEDI project at the Pentagon before returning to the company.

However, the department investigation did not uncover any potential ethical violations in the development of the acquisition strategy for its $10bn JEDI cloud contract, according to FedScoop.

“The department’s investigation has determined that there is no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process,” Elissa Smith, DoD spokeswoman, told FedScoop.

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