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DISA Cancels $45 Million Award to Store Exabytes of Drone and Satellite Images

AP

The Defense Information Systems Agency has abruptly canceled a $45 million sole source contract awarded in April to Alliance Technology Group to store of hundreds of billions of satellite and drone imagery files, each packing terabytes of data.

DISA said in documents posted Monday that after it announced its decision on April 4 to award the Large Data Object Storage contract to Alliance, a small, disadvantaged business located in Hanover, Md., other vendors responded and based upon capability statements and responses received, it planned to “to pursue competitive means through the National Security Agency Acquisition Resource Center to satisfy the requirement.”

DISA said previously it would use the commercial cloud provided by Alliance to store imagery from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, platforms, including from drones and satellites that transmit, among other things, full motion video files that contain megabytes or more of data, depending on the length of the transmission.

Alliance partners with Hewlett-Packard and IO Data LLC to provide cloud storage services for petabytes of data. Competitors include EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass.; Caringo Inc of Austin, Texas; DataDirect, Chatsworth, Calif.; and San Francisco start-up Scality.

DISA expects that eventually the ISR cloud will exceed an exabyte, or one million terabytes, within the next few years and “may grow to 3-4 exabytes in the out years,” but the agency did not specify how many years.

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