AWS and Citrix protest proposed VMware deal with US Defense

us flag

Amazon Web Services, Citrix and Nutanix have launched a protest against the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposed $1.6 billion contract with VMware.

The three firms are opposing the possibility that the virtualisation company will win a five-year enterprise licensing agreement to deliver software and support to DoD branch Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

DISA is already a big VMware user, with two million licenses in the Army, Navy, Air Force and DISA itself.

But it wants to consolidate support for those licenses into a single contract instead of paying the admin costs created by having lots of separate transactions for its suite of VMware products.

In a redacted document, the department revealed it’s paid admin costs for 9,270 separate transactions over the past five years to procure VMware kit.

The trio of firms complaining about the move have filed bid protests with the Government Accountability Office, saying the agreement would stifle competition, according to Nextgov.

However, while DISA says VMware is the only vendor qualified to provide support for its own products, VMware is pushing cloud services into its proposed enterprise licensing agreement, too.

That could make it DISA’s single cloud provider.

Nextgov said DISA has two options – either to push forward with its plans and risk the accountability office intervening, or adjusting the proposed agreement to quell the protests of the other cloud and virtualisation vendors.