The Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Hosting and Compute Center (HaCC) is looking to industry for help to quickly prototype an on-premises centralized network control plane to help manage a large collection of hybrid and multi-cloud environments as the agency moves forward with contract awards for its $9 billion Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) project.
Currently, HaCC has multiple x86 hosting environments completely isolated and independent of one another with different management planes and different processes. To streamline the management of these diverse cloud environments, “HaCC aims to develop a management plane that centralizes all current capabilities, with additional improvement capabilities and innovative processes, into a single centralized control plane,” according to a request for information (RFI) posted to Sam.gov on Tuesday.
The deadline for responses to the RFI is April 22.
“DISA’s current on-prem cloud environment lacks several key capabilities that customers looking for cloud capabilities need. Customers are leaving our current environment at an exponentially increased rate due to services offered by other platforms,” the RFI states.
HaCC outlined in the RFI that it plans to award an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract to develop a minimum viable capability release prototype for a single network environment, merging the disparate components into a modernized distributed, hybrid, and multi-cloud infrastructure and services offering.
The goal is to stand up a centralized hub that would help Pentagon customers to manage commercial cloud assets, on-premises cloud assets, traditional virtualized assets, and dedicated host-connected assets.
The proposed new acquisition will include a modern technology implementation strategy that will achieve rapid deployment of the new solution. In addition to rapid deployment, the planning also features a streamlined and modern migration strategy for existing workloads hosted in the HaCC’s current x86 environments.
The solution will be housed in a consolidated stack located within multiple DISA data centers. The end goal, according to the RFI, is to standardize the solution for eventual, uniform deployment to multiple sites – including DISA’s cloud efforts outside of the continental United States.
“The central control plane will be the single portal through which customers and administrators manage fully segmented and isolated customer environments,” the RFI says. “The planned solution will provide streamlined automation and drastically reduce the effort involved in asset management and compliance tasks.”
Streamlining hybrid cloud environments and cloud acquisitions has been a main priority for the center as it moves forward with JWCC. One notable effort HaCC Director Sharon Woods has outlined is doing away with manual processes and emailing documents around in cloud acquisition, especially as the Pentagon begins to build acquisition packages for JWCC.
“We have developed a tool. It’s almost like a wizard where you need a statement of work, you need to define your requirement and your evaluation criteria,” said Woods during Federal News Network’s DoD Cloud Exchange 2023. “Configuration control was just a nightmare. So, we’ve created this almost TurboTax experience just to put the package together, just to get the documents together and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
In addition, the RFI explains that the new prototype will also need to accommodate artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, and utilize a zero trust architecture.
After demonstrating a successful prototype, which the agency aims to stand up to in less than a year, DISA plans to issue a follow-on production OTA to continue implementation efforts.
The RFI calls for industry input on the described features of the infrastructure, including the technical capabilities available and insights on the acquisition’s ability to meet the desired requirements.