GSA issues cloud storefront RFQ

Storage, Web hosting and virtualization requested on an on-demand basis

The General Services Administration is looking for Internet-based IT services to offer federal agencies through a proposed cloud-computing storefront service. Last month, the agency issued a Request for Quotation for providing cloud services to government agencies.

The document describes a GSA-run storefront portal in which government agencies can purchase commercially offered infrastructure IT services using a credit card or other approved payment option. Specifically, the GSA is looking for three broad categories of services to offer through this portal: Storage services, virtual machines and Web hosting.

To serve the government, service providers will need to have the following in place:

  • The ability for customers to procure and provide service without vendor review.
  • Two separate facilities within the continental United States that offer the service. Internet bandwidth for each location should be no less than 1 Gigabit per second.
  • Virtually unlimited storage.
  • The ability for the customer to scale up or down service on an as-needed basis.
  • A dashboard for each customer to convey usage, as measured on a weekly basis.

Each service will be accessible remotely by dual-factor authentication. Trouble tickets should be able to be submitted by application programming interface (API), and all services should be maintained at 99.95 percent uptime. For outages lasting longer than one hour a month, the provider must provide a written description of the cause of the outage.

Federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra has stated that GSA is planning to set up a cloud-computing "storefront," that federal agencies can use to procure IT services.

For the RFQ, GSA adopted the definitions of cloud computing that were authored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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