Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
The JEDI Saga Continues: Microsoft and DoD Must Pause Work After Court Ruling
The force is not with Microsoft after a US federal judge ordered the company to stop work on its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract with the Department of Defense. The judgment represents something of a win for Amazon, which sued the federal government after Microsoft won the hotly competitive battle for the largest-ever IT services deal.
Amazon protested after the feds announced Microsoft’s surprise win on October 25, claiming the process was unfair. Amazon’s lawsuit, filed in December, alleges interference by US President Donald Trump, who has been a vocal critic of Amazon founder – and Washington Post owner – Jeff Bezos. Amazon, which previously won a major contract to provide cloud services to the Central Intelligence Agency, had been considered a frontrunner based on its track record with other government agencies.
Although it’s too early to tell how this increasingly acrimonious case will play out, Info-Tech will be watching closely – and we strongly suggest you do the same – because the implications across any IT shop in any sector promise to be significant.
Source: SoftwareReviews Amazon Web Services Product Scorecard, Accessed February 21, 2020.
Source: SoftwareReviews Microsoft Azure Product Scorecard, Accessed February 21, 2020.
Some key takeaways for CIOs and other IT leaders include the following:
- Plan ahead. Organizations need better processes in place in case vendor relationships go south. Just like IT has DRPs in place for a wide range of disasters, it must also have documented frameworks at the ready in case contracts are suddenly halted for whatever reason. We’re assuming Microsoft had such contingencies in place before this latest ruling: Make sure you follow that lead.
- Slow it down. You can never invest enough in due diligence. While some stakeholders may push for rapid negotiations and contract closure, bear in mind that procurement is a marathon, not a sprint. Build in more time than you think you’ll need to allow for the migration of services, technology, and processes. Extra breathing room also gives your people time to adapt to the new cultural baseline inherent in any major contract and vendor relationship.
- Prepare for a tighter regulatory future. The ramifications of the Microsoft/Amazon/DoD dogfight will ripple out for years. Expect US procurement law to get a lot of love and attention because of it. To be ready for this new world of procurement, start re-evaluating your documentation processes now and ensure they are pristine in advance of anticipated tighter regulatory oversight.
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Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
Microsoft has added six months of additional support to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. This will help reduce pressure to upgrade and provide support in the interim as companies focus on business continuity plans due to COVID-19.
Microsoft’s deep pockets and Financing division can save your IT budget. If your Enterprise Agreement is coming up for renewal in the next six months, we will likely be in an economic downturn.