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Google Cloud secures “seven-figure” US defence contract

Google Cloud has secured a “seven figure” deal to provide a cloud security platform to the US Department of Defense’s innovation unit (DIU).

The platform, launched last year and named Anthos, will enable the DIU to monitor security threats across its three cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

Google has pitched Anthos as a tool to enable customers to write applications once and then run them “anywhere”, whether that’s on premise, or in the cloud via AWS, Azure or its own platform.

Google Cloud’s global public sector lead Mike Daniels said in a statement that “multi-cloud is the future”, adding: “The majority of commercial businesses run multi-cloud environments securely and seamlessly, and this is now coming to the federal government as well.”

The threat analysis will be delivered in partnership with the US cloud security vendor Netskope.

In remarks reported by TechCrunch, Daniels said that the deal could lead to further similar projects for the Department of Defense (DoD). Axios, which broke the news, said Google plans to triple the size of the team working on public sector projects in the coming years.

The company, which has eight per cent of the global cloud computing market, is still trailing AWS and Azure, which collectively hold more than half of the market. In 2018 Google announced that it wouldn’t bid to supply the Department of Defense’s (DoD) $10bn JEDI cloud contract, saying it didn’t align with its corporate values. The company had faced pressure from employees over its defence work in the previous months.

Microsoft was named the surprise winner in a closely-fought race with AWS, which has subsequently commenced legal proceedings in a bid to have the decision overturned. Amazon has argued the decision was subject to political influence, but the Pentagon’s inspector general concluded last month that the White House had not exerted any pressure over the process.

“The evidence we received showed that the DoD personnel who evaluated the contract proposals and awarded Microsoft the JEDI Cloud contract were not pressured regarding their decision on the award of the contract by any DoD leaders more senior to them, who may have communicated with the White House,” the inspector general’s office said at the time. Amazon has also taken the Pentagon to court over the decision.