IT upgrades

Purchase agreement gives NASA open source, cloud offerings

NASA logo

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is known for sending rockets through the clouds, and now its web services are headed there, too.

NASA awarded a $40 million blanket purchase agreement to Rockville, Md.-based InfoZen to create, maintain and support NASA’s 140 websites and 1,600 web assets and applications, which are used by the public, media, students, and private- and public-sector researchers all over the world.

The contract will provide a cloud-based solution for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) for internal and external websites and web applications, the agency said in a statement.  Services will include content management, as well as search and collaborative services, such as blogs and wikis. The contract has a one-year base and four one-year options. It begins Feb. 1, 2013.

“It’s a beautiful account, we’re very excited, and we’re looking forward to getting started,” said Christopher David, CTO at InfoZen, which beat out five competitors in a bid process that began in July.

InfoZen will replace NASA’s previous content management system – operated by etouch Systems – with “very flexible” open source architecture that David said is in line with NASA’s open source initiative.

“NASA is trying to promote the use of open source technology, which is great,” David said. “We positioned this to be the premier open source initiative. We want to break the mold of proprietary CMS architectures.”

NASA’s main portal, www.nasa.gov, attracts 600,000 unique web visitors per day and more than 140 million visits per year. The agency has been soliciting user feedback for the redesign, and NASA.gov content manager Brian Dunbar recently discussed plans for the site in a PBS.org podcast.

InfoZen has done similar work in the federal space before. In 2011, the firm won a $90 million contract to provide IT services to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.  And in 2006, it was awarded a $148 million contract to manage IT systems for the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Transportation Threat Assessment and Credentialing.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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