Amazon Set for Nine-Figure Deal...With the CIA

By Steve Anderson March 20, 2013

In a move that's sure to spook conspiracy buffs everywhere, a new report has emerged that puts the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) within arm's reach of signing a deal with Amazon, valued at up to $600 million, over the course of the next 10 years.

But it's what the CIA and Amazon will be doing together that will raise a few eyebrows, though for different reasons across the spectrum.

According to the reports, the CIA is looking to work with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build what's called a "private cloud," which will in turn be packed with a set of technologies like big data, which is itself rapidly increasing in popularity among businesses.

The reports are a bit vague, and many details are left out – this is the CIA we're talking about, after all –but there are several interesting questions that appear in the wake of such an action.

First, Amazon Web Services built a name for itself as a source of public cloud, not private. That's an odd switch for Amazon Web Services to go, from being what amounts to a hosting service for cloud services – public clouds are generally in hosted facilities with shared hardware – to a provider of cloud computing technology on a particular user's data center, which is what "private cloud" is generally understood as.

Amazon was reportedly seen, not so long ago, coming out against the private cloud concept, though it has been seen offering the Virtual Private Cloud, which uses Amazon hardware but adds an extra security layer.

Second, for Amazon to enter the private cloud business would give pause to several major names already engaged in the field, like Citrix and VMware, as well as IBM, Rackspace and HP. The latter three, of which were recently spotted saying their clouds are not only more reliable than Amazon's, but more secure.

That's not an assessment the CIA shares, however, and getting the CIA for a customer is no mean feat.

Notwithstanding the unusual implications this has, what with putting one of the biggest government agencies and intelligence gathering arms nearby to where people buy things every day, moves that have the potential to seriously destabilize a market are always worth watching out for. Amazon suddenly slipping into private cloud would be a destabilizing force of likely impressive magnitude.

Amazon has a lot of force behind it, and seeing AWS branch out into a whole new category of service would bring that force into play.

The government's involvement is one thing, but Amazon's potential shift in the market is another. This is a very big move indeed, and a recipe for a real shake-up – the kind many would find difficult to ignore.




Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Four Reasons to Reach for the Cloud after World Earth Day

By: Special Guest    4/23/2018

The World Earth Day agenda offers a chance to flip the rationale for cloud adoption and highlight environmental benefits that the technology brings pr…

Read More

Bloomberg BETA: Models Are Key to Machine Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    4/19/2018

James Cham, partner at seed fund Bloomberg BETA, was at Cisco Collaboration Summit today talking about the importance of models to the future of machi…

Read More

Get Smart About Influencer Attribution in a Blockchain World

By: Maurice Nagle    4/16/2018

The retail value chain is in for a blockchain-enabled overhaul, with smarter relationships, delivering enhanced transparency across an environment of …

Read More

Facebook Flip-Flopping on GDPR

By: Maurice Nagle    4/12/2018

With GDPR on the horizon, Zuckerberg in Congress testifying and Facebook users questioning loyalty, change is coming. What that change will look like,…

Read More

The Next Phase of Flash Storage and the Mid-Sized Business

By: Joanna Fanuko    4/11/2018

Organizations amass profuse amounts of data these days, ranging from website traffic metrics to online customer surveys. Collectively, AI, IoT and eve…

Read More