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DISA releases $427 million cloud storage RFP

Sep. 23, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
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The Defense Information Systems Agency is moving forward with a $427 million follow-on contract for cloud storage services, after postponing the contract this summer.

In a request for propsoals last week, DISA said it wants “state-of-the-art storage capacity to meet new and emerging customer requirements and the ability to replace existing DISA storage capacity that has exceeded its technical life as determined by the government.”

The Enterprise Storage Service (ESS II) contract will replace a $700 million contract DISA awarded to ViON Corp. in 2007. The contract will have a base period of four years and two one-year option periods. Work under the contract will take place in DISA facilities and other approved locations.

Proposals are due Oct. 21, and the contract will be awarded based on a best value evaluation process, according to DISA. This means DISA will evaluate and compare factors in addition to cost.

The new on-demand storage capabilities will enable the Pentagon to support changes in its data storage needs and pay only for the services it uses. Any new solution must enable private, public and hybrid cloud storage capabilities, according to a Sept. 19 request for proposal on FedBizOpps.gov.

Specifically, DISA wants its private cloud capabilities to include a file sharing solution and access to content via desktop computers and mobile devices. The cloud storage solution must also support DoD Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Common Access Card authentication, which uses digital signatures to verify a person’s identity.

The winning vendor will acquire, install, deinstall, transport, configure, and provide the necessary hardware, maintenance and software to support the storage infrastructure. But DISA will “maintain day-to-day operational control of the storage environment and complete oversight responsibility,” including control over all software updates outside of those needed to operate the vendor’s solution.

DISA has not yet released a final RFP to industry for commercial cloud services, which will be provided out of contractors’ facilities as opposed to DISA data centers. Under that $450 million contract, services will include data storage, Web hosting, database hosting services and virtual machine services that can replace the need for multiple physical servers.

The 2012 Defense Authorization Act required DoD to develop a strategy to move its data and services from department-owned and operated data centers to cloud computing solutions. This has prompted DISA to expand cloud offerings beyond its current private clouds, where services are provided exclusively to DoD and hosted in DISA data centers.

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