HPE Wins NSA Cloud Contract Worth $2bn

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise wins $2 billion cloud services contract with America’s top secret intelligence agency, the NSA

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has won a valuable cloud services contract with one of America’s leading intelligence agencies, the National Security Agency (NSA).

HPE confirmed the contract with the National Security Agency is worth $2 billion and will allow the NSA to utilise “HPE’s high performance computing solutions to address growing data needs through HPE GreenLake.”

HPE GreenLake delivers public cloud services and infrastructure as-a-service for an organisation’s workloads. It can be located on premise, or as fully managed in a pay-per-use model at the edge, in colocations and in an organisation’s data centre.

HPC service

The ten year contract with the NSA will “deliver HPE’s high performance computing technology as a service through the HPE GreenLake platform.”

The systems will be used for artificial intelligence (AI) computing, HPE said. Essentially, the NSA will utilise the HPE solution to “create insights and other forecasting and analysis with optimal performance.”

The system will be housed in a data centre owned by QTS Realty Trust.

“Implementing artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities on massive sets of data increasingly requires High Performance Computing (HPC) systems” said Justin Hotard, senior VP and general manager, HPC and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) at HPE.

“Customers are demanding HPC capabilities on their most data-intensive projects combined with easy, simple, and agile management,” said Hotard.

“By using the HPE GreenLake platform, which delivers secure on-premises solutions as a service, the National Security Agency (NSA) is gaining industry-leading HPC solutions to tackle a range of complex data needs, but with a flexible, as a service experience.”

The new service will start to be used in 2022.

WildandStormy Contract

This is not the only cloud contract that the NSA has undertaken recently with private technology firms.

Last month AWS won a $10bn contract code named ‘WildandStormy’ from the NSA, as it seeks to transition away from on-premises servers to a commercial provider.

This is a contract for the intelligence agency to bring in commercial cloud computing capabilities. At the moment, the NSA is understood to use an on-premise environment called the GovCloud, that NSA wants to move away from.

Instead, the NSA is reportedly pursuing a Hybrid Compute Initiative.

WildandStormy is worth up to $10 billion and spans over15 years, and will reportedly provide cloud hosting services across some 17 US intelligence agencies.

Microsoft however has filed an official complaint with the US Government Accountability Office about the contract award to AWS.

Microsoft is alleging that NSA didn’t conduct a proper evaluation.

Microsoft had filed its complaint with the GAO in July, and the watchdog is expected to issue its ruling on 29 October.

It should be remembered there is a lot of bad blood between Redmond and AWS, after Microsoft won the Pentagon’s $10bn JEDI cloud contract in October 2019.

That was until AWS filed repeated legal challenges, which eventually resulted in the Pentagon in July cancelling JEDI altogether.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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