IBM tosses a rock at AWS over its government contract… It’s on.

In consideration of a $150 million lawsuit over a contract to build a secure computer cloud for the U.S. intelligence community, an IBM executive swiped at the company’s competitor, Amazon, last week.  He called the AWS’s cloud services unreliable and not up to government standards.

“Amazon’s definition of reliability doesn’t measure up to what the federal government needs for mission critical workloads,” Andrew Maner, managing partner of IBM’s federal cloud business told Nextgov.

This kind of sniping does not do either IBM or AWS any good.  However, I suspect we’ll see more of it as those chasing AWS see AWS’s lead getting larger.  The award of the CIA contract to AWS was a poke in the eye to IBM, considering their massive and long-standing penetration in the government sector.

However, the CIO selected AWS for some good reasons, with both reliability and security being first on the list.  The IBM cloud strategy is still difficult to determine.  However, with the purchase of Softlayers, it’s come into better focus.

I suspect we’ll see more of this kind of back and forth name calling in the near future.  Most of it will be aimed toward AWS, as long as they remain the clear leader.

 

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David S. Linthicum

SVP Cloud Technology Partners

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