Cloud

Social Security seeks software for private cloud

concept art for cloud services

The Social Security Administration is in search of software packages that could help it build an on-premise private cloud.

According to a request for information released Jan. 14, SSA wants to determine the market availability of private cloud software packages that automate processes that currently require significant manpower.

SSA asks that interested vendors indicate their products' compliance with a lengthy list of features and functionality, including a Web-based self-service portal, a unified service catalog, performance monitoring, virtual machine life cycle management, multitenancy, capacity planning and asset management.

"SSA will integrate the desired software into VMware server virtualization infrastructures, enabling us to better utilize the resources of these infrastructures and automate many processes currently done manually today," the RFI states. "The main objectives of implementing this product will be to create a self-service virtual machine (VM) provisioning portal, automate common administrative tasks like VM creation, recoup unused resources, and [perform] infrastructure maintenance tasks as well as implement reporting like capacity analysis, utilization reports and end-user costing."

SSA makes clear that the RFI is not a solicitation for proposals and that "no contract will be awarded resulting directly from this announcement," though responses to the RFI will ultimately be used to shape the agency's acquisition decision.

Although it is only a midsize agency, SSA's internal systems house more than 20 petabytes of data. In the past year, the agency paid approximately $800 billion to more than 60 million Americans, handled more than 8 million benefit claims and posted 245 million wage reports. SSA was an early cloud adopter in government and is one of the few agencies to harness big data's analytics capabilities, which SSA is using to find ways to save money.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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