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Why Can’t We Eliminate the “Technology Refresh” RFP?

In order to maintain life cycle and technology, the Navy is upgrading server farms at fifteen (15) sites and any future sites throughout the Far East, Europe and Middle East regions. According to the RFP:
“The Server Farm Refresh is focused on upgrading hardware that is already out of warranty and also improving the data services, performance and future capabilities while still meeting the needs of the Fleets.” 
In outlining the service’s requirement, the RFP specifies a solution that shall not:
  • Require a significant increase in staffing levels;
  • Introduce the requirement for senior skill sets that may not be available or exceedingly costly to obtain; or
  • Exceed a 10% increase in seat cost of $2244 per year.
In their proposals, offeror’s are directed to include:
  • all KVM and UPS devices & associated peripherals
  • administrators and systems engineers
  • the capability to power up, power-down, reboot and install operating system and applications and perform administrative functions remotely across the enterprise. 
  • a solution that is secure, scalable, manageable and supportable through 2015.
  • a minimum 5 year warranty on provided hardware. 
  • A component failure will not cause outages for the customers
  • use of redundant/load balanced servers for critical devices is required
  • a target service availability of 99.999% or greater 
  • the necessary capacity to support future growth of sites, users, and services without major disruption or overhaul of infrastructure 
  • scalable/upgradeable to the latest technology
  • able to support industry changes to operating systems or software upgrades without requiring expenditure of additional funds 
  • COTS based
Is it me or is this RFP a commercial for cloud computing?
This procurement explicitly procures new technology to refresh old technology. All that does is guarantee another refresh after another few years.  Why not outline a competition for the design and delivery of a private cloud that meets these requirements and all applicable DoD directives. Isn’t that much simpler and more direct? 
What do you think?
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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous on March 25, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    “Is it me or is this RFP a commercial for cloud computing?”

    It’s you. Sounds like the Navy wants new equipment right down to the laces, and someone to manage availability, complexity, and drudgery – the headaches.

    They will be required by DISA/DoD to keep their computing/storage on a DoD site (such as a DECC). They will be required to keep the data and custom applications on DoD soil, and isn’t offsiting that stuff what cloud is (the vendor provides everything but the end station)?

    I don’t think DoD can buy cloud. They can DO cloud, but they can’t buy it.

    I’d like to know if I was right…

    Derrick Foy

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