DHS pushes toward data center consolidation

The Department of Homeland Security is closing in on a final solicitation for the management of its Mississippi data center, with an eye to supporting cloud and hybrid IT operations.

Servers in a data center
 

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The Department of Homeland Security is inching closer to making good on a long promised data center consolidation plan.

On July 10, the agency issued a draft solicitation for Data Center and Cloud Optimization (DCCO) Support Services contract that will manage its enterprise data center, as well as cover implementation and hosting environments at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The data center is owned by NASA and run by its contractor, but DHS uses about 35,000 square feet in the facility.

When awarded, the contract could be worth $1 billion to the successful bidder, Washington Technology reported in May.

DHS had planned to consolidate data center operations at the Mississippi facility, known as DC 1, and shutter operations at a Virginia location (called DC 2) to save money and to make allowances for components that are pushing operations into commercial cloud. The plan as of last August was to consolidate operations in Mississippi by June 2020, but even then complications were emerging that made the closure of DC 2 by the expiration of a key contact unlikely.

On June 10, DHS awarded Perspecta a no-bid extension to continue running operations at DC 2 as systems are transitioned out of the facility.

The timeline for awarding a contract to run DC 1 is slipping slightly from original plans. Industry comments on the draft are due July 30, a final solicitation will be issued in mid-September, with a contract award by late December, according to DHS.

The draft solicitation looks to move from a location-based approach for support services capabilities to a service-based approach that will offer a hybrid IT hosting environment that will serve as a foundation to manage and integrate multi-cloud and co-located applications.

DHS is planning a single-award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to manage the DC 1 operations. DHS components that have their own cloud hosting or co-location arrangements won't have to buy in to the new contract, but the DCCO vehicle will be the only way to acquire hosting services at the DC 1 facility.

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