VA releases data center RFP

Austin Automation Center Enterprise System

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released its $500 million request for proposals covering products and services for its Austin Automation Center (AAC) data center in Texas.

The two 10-year AAC Enterprise System contracts will provide hardware, software, and technical and professional services supporting the Austin data center. According to the RFP, the VA will award two indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts — a prime contract and a small-business set-aside contract.

The ACCES contract will cover a wide variety of products and services including providing equipment and software and supporting the AAC's desktop services, data entry, distribution and on-site peripheral equipment.

The long-term plan is to rely on IBM Corp. S/390 enterprise servers and Unix services "that are highly modular and scalable. This provides a flexible environment as customer needs change," according to the RFP.

The VA hopes to have the contract in place by Oct. 1. The RFP was posted March 21, and proposals are due by May 4. The AACES Web site says that the VA hopes to make an award decision by July 12 with a contract award by Aug. 30.

The incumbent contractor is Northrop Grumman Corp., according to Federal Sources Inc. of McLean, Va.

The ACC provides data center services for the VA in addition to a number of other agencies including NASA, the Transportation Department's Federal Highway Administration, the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Accounting Office.

The ACC receives no federal dollars but instead relies on customer funding.

The AAC runs more than 130 applications for its clients.

Dorobek is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Va.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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