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Google turns the page with DOD

Google is back in the Department of Defense's cloud conversation. After withdrawing from contention for a pair of major Pentagon IT contracts — including the $10 billion JEDI acquisition — over widely publicized ethical concerns, Google Cloud is now eager to do business with the DOD in the cloud. The Defense Innovation Unit awarded the company a one-year, "seven-figure" deal to build a secure cloud management solution on its open-source, multi-cloud Anthos platform. The service will allow DIU to manage services and applications across a variety of commercial cloud platforms, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and, of course, Google Cloud. The tech giant hopes to scale the work with DIU across the Pentagon if the pilot is successful. Billy Mitchell breaks it down.

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Shared services for archiving and mainframes?

Select data centers across the U.S. could provide governmentwide shared services like archiving or mainframe-as-a-service (MFaaS), according to the director of the General Services Administration’s consolidation initiative. Thomas Santucci told an online audience Wednesday that because all agencies need to archive data, for example, a single service based in one data center would simplify things. MFaaS makes sense in a similar way for the agencies that still need mainframes, Santucci told the 930gov Cloud Computing Conference. He said he was offering his own opinion and not speaking on behalf of GSA. Dave Nyczepir explains Santucci's idea.

The search for 'Skyborg' tech ramps up

The Air Force has issued a solicitation that seeks participants in the new “Skyborg” program, which would pair low-cost unmanned systems with fighter jets to extend the military’s air power. Potential awardees could see up to $400 million through an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, according to the announcement. "The intent of Skyborg is to integrate an autonomy mission system core and suite of services ... with multiple low-cost air vehicle systems, each designed to perform one or more mission types," the solicitation states. Jackson Barnett reports.

Palantir's COVID-19 work grows

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a nearly $5 million contract to Silicon Valley company Palantir for data-sharing software that is already built into the HHS Protect system used by the White House's coronavirus task force. The Veterans Health Administration, specifically, will use the software to track and analyze COVID-19 outbreak areas and make decisions using supply chain capacity, hospital inventory and social services data, according to the contract. The Department of Health and Human Services awarded two contracts totaling $24.9 million to Palantir for similar services. Dave has the story.

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