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A couple of interesting breaking news items related to Thursday's Phorum Philly event, which I profiled here:
Federal Computer Week is reporting that according to its sources, the CIA has agreed to a cloud computing contract with Amazon, worth up to $600 million over 10 years. FCW says "Amazon Web Services will help the intelligence agency build a private cloud infrastructure that helps the agency keep up with emerging technologies like big data in a cost-effective manner not possible under the CIA's previous cloud efforts."
If true, this is significant for a couple of reasons. One is that Amazon Web Services primarily offers a public cloud environment, and in the past has been reluctant to get into private clouds, so this might mark the beginnings of an important change of direction for them.
|CIA CTO Gus Hunt|
Secondly, CIA CTO Gus Hunt will be addressing Phorum on Big Data issues, so his remarks should be particularly timely. Hunt would not respond to FCW's request to comment on its report, but has been publicly quoted as speaking favorably of AWS. Reuters quoted Hunt as saying at a conference in February, "Think Amazon – that model really works." Hopefully, Hunt will take some questions on Thursday.
The other related news item is that Demo Pit participant PeopleLinx, the Philadelphia based startup that is building a platform that helps companies better utilize LinkedIn, announced today it has raised $3.25 million from investors including Osage Venture Partners, Greycroft Partners and MissionOG.
In my previous post on Phorum, I mentioned that Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who many political observers think will seek the Democratic Gubernatorial Nomination for 2014, will be presenting the Demo Pit awards at Phorum.