DHS Looks to Advances its Data Center and Cloud Optimization Efforts

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is pushing forward with its Data Center and Cloud Optimization (DCC) efforts, according to a notice posted on beta.sam.gov.

In the notice, DHS said it is looking to acquire “support services for management of its enterprise data center and to implement and manage its future state enterprise hosting environment.” The acquisition is intended to “drive a more efficient, responsive hybrid information technology hosting environment that also serves as the foundation for the management and integration of a multi-cloud and co-location environment.”

DHS explained that the notice pertains to its data center located at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA owns and manages the data center facility and DHS uses roughly 35,000 square feet of raised floor space in the data center. NASA provides basic services, including power management, raised floor space, physical security, office space, environmental control, and fire suppression. However, DHS provides all IT services for its part of the data center.

As part of the eventual acquisition, DHS is looking to migrate some of its apps to the cloud, with the reminder hosted in the data center or co-location service providers. This transition will leave the data center as “the core DHS compute and storage environment from which to host and manage enterprise infrastructure and applications.” The data center currently contains both Sensitive, But Unclassified IT and classified IT infrastructure, applications, and data.

DHS is looking to acquire three main types of services:

  • Operate, Maintain, and Optimize DC1 Services: “Provide continuing support of current services. Implement, optimize, and operate compute and storage infrastructure and applications in DC1 and other associated locations.”
  • Professional Services: “Provide professional services that support ongoing operations, optimization, and implementation of the target state and continued advisory services for emerging technology and IT hosting practices.”
  • Cloud, Co-location and Integration Services: “Provide services from and integration to FedRAMP-certified Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to support Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service, and Platform as a Service.”

In the notice, DHS listed out its primary objectives for the project:

  • “Improved Total Cost of Ownership and Cost Transparency – DHS requires cost management and transparency to better understand how to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and provide accountability.
  • Responsiveness – DHS must improve its customer service approach to maximize the customer experience, improve trust, reduce the time to deliver, and enhance operational performance while fostering improved communication, innovation, and accountability.
  • Scalability – The target hosting environment and supporting services must quickly scale and provide the elasticity to meet mission operations and surge capabilities.
  • Improved Reliability and Availability – DHS needs to implement and manage an ecosystem of the [Stennis Space Center] enterprise data center, CSPs, and co-location providers to ensure the Mean-Time-Between-Failures and the Mean-Time-To-Repair are continually monitored and improved throughout the period of performance.
  • Continuous Security Monitoring and Mitigation – The complexity of the target hybrid IT environment and the critical nature of the DHS mission requires the continuous monitoring and evaluation of systems, capabilities, interfaces, applications, and data transactions to assess and mitigate threats to cybersecurity that may affect confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
  • Continual Operational Assessment and Improvement – Because of evolving mission, IT, and industry capabilities, DHS must continually analyze and deliver an environment that optimizes cost, service delivery, and performance and is the best fit for evolving business, technology, and mission needs.
  • Architectural Approach – DHS must maintain an understanding its current state, including a variety of architectures, configuration items, services, deployment models, and technologies.
  • Service Governance – A strong governance mechanism is needed to ensure consistent interpretation of policy, monitor DHS enterprise computing performance, and address consumer and provider issues.
  • Simplified Management – Improved communication through a data-driven, transparent management approach that allows for clear focus and attainment of management and technical goals.”

DHS said that initial comments from industry are due July 30 and it will host an industry webinar in early August of this year. The Department anticipates releasing the official solicitation in late-August, with proposals due in early-October, and eventually awarding the contract by mid-December.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.

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