The Defense Department’s cloud services contracting saga finally has come to an end that, for many, was obvious from the start more than four years ago.

The Pentagon today announced it has chosen four cloud providers, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google and Oracle, for spots on its Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) vehicle.

The five-and-a-half year multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a ceiling of $9 billion. The contract runs through June 2028.

“The purpose of this contract is to provide the Department of Defense with enterprisewide, globally available cloud services across all security domains and classification levels, from the strategic level to the tactical edge,” DoD said in the award announcement. “The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability will allow mission owners to acquire authorized commercial cloud offerings directly from the cloud service providers contract awardees.”

Under JWCC, DoD will parcel out several billion dollars in cloud spending through smaller awards it will issue as task orders. But the companies competing for that work will never actually submit bids for each discrete chunk of DoD’s enterprise cloud. Instead, a computer system and a centralized program office will be in charge of deciding precisely which firm is best suited for each piece of JWCC, and issue orders accordingly.

DoD says with JWCC, warfighters will be able to acquire the cloud capabilities under one contract including:

global accessibility
available and resilient services
centralized management and distributed control
ease of use
commercial parity
elastic computing, storage, and network infrastructure
advanced data analytics
fortified security
tactical edge devices

The awards, which many believed were a forgone conclusion after DoD issued solicitations to these four companies in November 2021, for all intents and purposes brings the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) soap opera to a fitting end as well. DoD cancelled the JEDI program in July 2021 after multiple protests and accusations of conflicts of interest and other improprieties.

DoD kicked off the JWCC effort as the replacement for the controversial JEDI initiative in early 2021 by doing market research on the current state of the cloud sector. It had expected to make awards in March 2022, but the negotiations with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Oracle turned out to be more complex and time-consuming than the department initially expected.