This analysis was first available to Bloomberg Government subscribers.
The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $950 million cloud contract to REAN Cloud LLC, an Amazon Web Services LLC consulting partner and reseller, in a move that may tip DOD’s hand regarding its strategy for the highly anticipated, multibillion-dollar JEDI cloud contract.
On Feb. 7, Herndon, Virginia-based REAN announced a five-year contract for services to help agencies across the defense enterprise migrate legacy systems to the cloud, including application assessments, operations, and infrastructure as a service.
“Our DOD customers can now achieve the same efficiencies available to the commercial sector as they seek to design, migrate, automate, manage, and scale systems and databases running in the cloud,” REAN Managing Partner Sekhar Puli said in a statement.
REAN was one of about three dozen technology companies to receive funding from the Pentagon’s Silicon Valley outpost, the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx). Wednesday’s award is modeled on its $6.6 million prototype to modernize IT services for the U.S. Transportation Command, a project that received an honorable mention for the 2017 DOD CIO Cyber and IT Excellence Award.
The contract is significant because of REAN’s close ties to cloud giant, AWS. REAN is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, and its website boasts a catalog of services built on the AWS cloud.
DOD is months away from awarding a contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, what will likely be a multibillion-dollar effort to centralize the department’s data and systems in a single cloud environment. Given Amazon’s recent success in building a $600 million top-secret cloud for the Central Intelligence Agency, it’s widely considered a front runner in the race for JEDI.
After vociferous feedback from federal cloud contractors, DOD leaders in December walked back early leanings that the Pentagon’s aim was to replicate CIA’s success with AWS, stating that it may opt for a multi-vendor solution intended to increase competition.
But by awarding a $950 million cloud migration contract to REAN, DOD may just have given away that it plans to run JEDI on AWS infrastructure. That could mean either that JEDI will be split up between several AWS-certified service providers, or that DOD may skip the middlemen and issue a single-award contract to AWS itself. Either way, DOD plans to make the award using full and open competition. An RFP is expected in the next 1-2 months.
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