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The JEDI Cloud History: From A Cloud Goal To A Microsoft Win

Here's the history of the contentious, bitter, and often ugly JEDI procurement process that ended last week with Microsoft being named the recipient of one of the industry's most prestigious and lucrative contracts.

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The Channel Precursor

Before JEDI exploded into a cloud computing battle royale, a smaller skirmish played out centered around an Amazon Web Services-aligned solution provider that set a tone for things to come.

In February of 2018, REAN Cloud, since acquired by Hitachi Vantara, had just won a lucrative contract with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), which looks to implement commercial technologies beneficial to the U.S military. The five-year deal, capped at $950 million, involved implementing a custom solution for automating the procurement of cloud resources for the military while maintaining price stability.

But REAN's newly inked military contract brought on fierce opposition from Oracle, which argued the born-in-the-cloud consultancy's close relationship with AWS was a de facto win for the industry's largest cloud provider.

After Oracle lodged a protest with the Government Accountability Office, REAN's initial contract fell apart—it was ultimately reduced to a sole project for the U.S. Transportation Command, with a maximum cost of $65 million.

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