DHS unveils EIS plans to industry

The Department of Homeland Security issued a draft solicitation to move its headquarters data network over to the federal government's next-generation telecommunications contract, using a combination of "like-for-like" network replacement and digital modernization.

The draft solicitation for the General Services Administration's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract covers a raft of the agency's headquarters operations and looks to modernize its unclassified OneNet/LAN A networks, primarily located in the Washington, D.C., area.

OneNet provides transport for all the agency's components to their inidivdual systems. LAN A, is a private Ethernet, fiber-ring network among the agency's headquarters locations in the D.C. area, including main offices in the district and suburban Virginia.

The agency held a teleconference with EIS contractors on March 17 to detail the draft. The agency has been considering using EIS to replace OneNet for the current contract with Verizon and AT&T through GSA's old Networx telecommunications vehicle.

The timing of the solicitation is in keeping with previous analyst forecasts.

"DHS is providing critical, in-development strategy, scope, and evaluation criteria information associated with its ongoing EIS efforts," Gregory Blaszko, contracting officer in DHS' Office of Procurement Operations, wrote in an email to EIS contractors obtained by FCW.

The main headquarters draft solicitation covers DHS headquarters, including the Office of the Secretary, Office of Management, Science & Technology operations and a few component agencies and operations, such as its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, as well as the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction unit, DHS Operations Coordination and Intel & Analysis, and the Federal Protective Service.

The 119-page statement of work outlines the approach the agency is taking to move to EIS, from implementing "like-for-like" transition where modernization isn't feasible, moving TDM circuits to more modern Ethernet, modernizing data centers and maximizing and piloting emerging cloud capabilities, including software- and platform-as-a-service.

The agency also wants to explore modernization through software-defined networking, virtual network functions and zero-trust security architectures.

The agency concurrently issued separate draft EIS solicitations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its Federal Law Enforcement Training Center networks.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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