June 14, 2024
JEDI Will Be a Cloud Like No Other
Opponents of the current JEDI acquisition strategy, which is based on a single award and high-security requirement, would force DoD to go backward regarding exploiting cloud computing's potential.
Opponents of the current JEDI acquisition strategy, which is based on a single award and high-security requirement, would force DoD to go backward regarding exploiting cloud computing’s potential.

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract will create a cloud like no other, private or public. The Department of Defense (DoD) is asking commercial cloud providers to build a “worldwide, highly available, exponentially elastic, secure, resilient cloud computing and storage environment that seamlessly extends from the homefront to the tactical edge.” The JEDI cloud will be able to support the rapid development and deployment of virtually any application, store, move, and protect the most sensitive national intelligence information, and support real-time decision-making. Pentagon leaders envision JEDI as including mobile, even miniaturized, backpack-portable servers that will provide tactical units with highly classified, mission-critical and actionable intelligence. Ultimately, it is hoped that JEDI will change DoD itself, transforming how it captures, processes, understands and exploits data from a myriad of sources and uses this information to fight.

JEDI is by no means DoD’s only cloud. Some years ago, the Pentagon decided to take a decentralized approach to the acquisition of cloud computing services allowing the military, defense agencies, and even components to pursue cloud computing in whatever way they thought best fit their needs. Today the Pentagon operates over 500 clouds. Often, defense entities have access to multiple clouds.

In the absence of an overall cloud migration strategy at the time and desirous of taking advantage of the rapid advances being made in the field of cloud computing, the decentralized approach made sense. But it also resulted in many problems for users and limitations on how cloud computing could be employed as a warfighting tool. According to a May 2018 report by the Pentagon’s Chief Management Officer, this decentralized approach “created numerous seams, incongruent baselines and additional layers of complexity for managing data and services at an enterprise level. Scattering DOD’s data across a multitude of clouds further inhibits the ability to access and analyze critical data.” In addition, there was no common approach to or set of top-level standards for securing these various clouds.

[…]

Loading