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Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
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rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2013 | 8:40:38 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
Certainly reliability is a major factor but let's stay focused on your original statement regarding security. Amazon has a lot of experience with operating a massive on-line business that stores credit cards. Surely they've learned a few real world things about keeping that data secure. There have been reports of a few issues over the years but it seems nothing so significant as to lose customer trust. Individual accounts will always be compromised since they are only as secure as their owners and the strength and secrecy of their password practices. In 2011, they had some kind of security issue that affected portions of their customer's cloud.

I really don't know about IBM's cloud. How big is it vs. Amazon? If it's relatively new or small, we'll need a longer track record and growth to genuinely determine whether or not IBM has some kind of intrinsic advantage stemming from internal expertise, best practices and experience.
asilverman026
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asilverman026,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/13/2013 | 8:12:23 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
IBM has a security solution division, and has been part of the global community helping to track and manage security issues for decades. This is not just about a platform but understanding all the potential threats and security exposures. In addition, Amazon has had some quite visible downtime in their cloud deployment and that would also seem to be an issue here as well.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2013 | 12:45:40 AM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
As I stated above, their cloud seems to offer x86-based tech. This type of cloud hasn't been around long enough to give IBM any intrinsic advantage. Unless we believe they have somehow baked their decades of mainframe and mid-range security expertise into this newer tech, at best it's inconclusive to assume their offering is more secure than Amazon.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2013 | 9:35:36 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
Another key field, more so even than security: a capable legal department.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
11/11/2013 | 8:09:05 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
IBM has been making enterprise environments secure for more years than Amazon has been in existence. Amazon itself says security is important, but security is just one of several key fields that it's had to master in 6-7 years of public cloud ops.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
11/11/2013 | 7:20:25 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
Such crafty terms come from decades of experience with business contracts. Perhaps this is something Amazon is still learning and in this case, it might have been an advantage to lack such experience.

Odd vendor terms are common from old-guard IT suppliers. 10 years ago when I was heavily involved in such contracts for software services, it was common for vendors to literally give stuff away in exchange for lengthy maintenance contracts. They were much more interested in recurring revenue than initial revenue. At first this seems attractive since it's much easier to expense smaller maintenance fees over five years than gain approval for a large capital expense. Unfortunately this can be like mobile phone contracts that tie your phone to the same carrier even though you want to make a move. Further it can be more cost effective to choose an inferior product from the same vendor rather than the best from a competitive vendor. Sometimes the product is good enough and other times it's a waste of money and you have to go back and get the best product. Now you have a product that you don't use and it's still on the books for several more years of maintenance.
rradina
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rradina,
User Rank: Ninja
11/11/2013 | 7:04:19 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
For an unrelated article reviewing IBM's cloud offerings, I went to IBM's cloud site last week. I noted they offered Linux and Windows. This seems to imply their current cloud expertise might be dominated by x86. If true, why would IBM's x86 offerings be more secure than Amazon's?
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2013 | 6:25:04 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
The lesson I would take away here is that cloud vendors are likely to present very complicated, many-layered proposals that may veil potentially expensive terms. The prominent price tag on the executive summary page may have been lower, but the fine print inside said $39 million for the first year. Cloud buyer beware!
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
11/11/2013 | 6:11:36 PM
re: Amazon Again Beats IBM For CIA Cloud Contract
In addition to the legal maneuvering that the court highlighted, I'm surprised by the fact that Amazon and IBM obtained equal "pass" ratings on security. I would have guessed IBM had more of an advantage there.


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