The Israeli Finance Ministry has announced a tender for the construction of a massive cloud-based data centre for government ministries, agencies, and "additional governmental units" with the aim of giving them unified access to databases, information, and services. The data centre project suggests the construction of two "domains" located in different places in Israel, functioning autonomously from other services run by the provider that wins the tender.
There has been no information so far on how much Tel Aviv is ready to spend on the mega-project, but participation in the tender is limited to companies with $2 billion and higher in annual revenues from cloud services, meaning that only giants like Microsoft, Google, or Amazon will be eligible to participate.
The latter has already reportedly showed interest in building data centres in Israel. Mayor of the southern Israeli city of Yeruham, Tal Ohana, said that officials have been discussing building a regional data centre in the city, but noted that the US company has not made up its mind about it.
Amazon separately announced on 14 August that it will be expanding its presence in Israel, deploying local infrastructure there to support its CloudFront file-sharing network. According to the company, the expansion will boost service performance for local users.
At the moment, Amazon is fighting for the chance to build another massive cloud-based project, the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure plan (JEDI), with Microsoft its key opponent. The tender for the $10 billion cloud computing project was recently mired in scandal with the Department of Defence reportedly halting it amid concerns that the tender's requirements could have been rigged to specifically favour Amazon, while reducing the chances for other companies to compete. The Pentagon has officially launched a probe into these allegations.