WASHINGTON — Oracle this week announced it can now handle some of the Department of Defense’s most sensitive data on one of its platforms, extending the cloud giant’s reach in the military sphere.
The company announced Feb. 15 that assessors had cleared the Defense Department to use Oracle National Security Regions — cloud systems that are isolated from the internet and only connected to secure government networks — to process highly guarded U.S. Air Force information. The department will now be able to host top secret/sensative compartmentalized information and special access program missions on Oracle’s cloud service.
“Oracle has long provided high performance, high availability, and open computing to the DoD and intelligence community to securely run their most-demanding, mission-critical classified workloads,” Glen Dodson, a senior vice president with Oracle’s national security division, said in a statement.
Oracle’s services are widely used by state and federal governments, including the Department of Defense.
Since launching Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in 2016, the Texas-based company has made a number of inroads into the military and the intelligence community. In July 2021 the company was one of dozens awarded contracts for the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS. ABMS is the service’s contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, the Pentagon’s effort to connect sensors and shooters across the services and across domains. The Air Force has issued several batches of ABMS contracts to technology companies in recent years, each with a ceiling of $950 million and a $1,000 minimum value over five years.
“We are excited to collaborate with the Air Force and other industry partners to develop innovative systems to integrate sensors, manage data and deliver applications to improve commanders’ and warfighters’ abilities to share actionable information at speed,” the company said in an October statement.
Oracle was also involved with the Pentagon’s ill-fated cloud project, which sought to move the department’s cloud infrastructure forward with a $10 billion contract with one company. Oracle filed a protest against the massive contract in 2018, complaining about the winner-take-all approach. While that protest was shut down, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud competition was ultimately canceled following challenges from Amazon.
And in 2020, Oracle was one of five companies awarded contracts for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Commercial Cloud Enterprise, or C2E — the other four being Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft. The CIA declined to divulge the value of those awards, although draft request for proposals suggested it would be a long-term effort with a 15-year performance period and multiple option years. The contract succeeded a $600 million deal secured by Amazon and signaled the intelligence agency’s next step in cloud computing efforts.
A spokesperson at the time said the CIA was “excited to work with the multiple industry partners” and looked forward to using the “expanded cloud capabilities resulting from this diversified partnership.”
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.