The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a request for information (RFI) on Tuesday asking for support in moving systems to the cloud, optimizing its remaining enterprise data center, and gathering comment on the department’s plan. The deadline to respond is March 20.

The RFI notes that the acting deputy secretary of DHS directed the department to make “appropriate plans to reflect the expiration of the current Data Center 2 contract in June 2020.” Currently, Data Center 2 supports 10 components within DHS, houses 133 FISMA systems with compute instances, and supports 8,000 devices.

“More than 50% of Data Center 2 systems are planning to migrate to a cloud service provider, while close to 30% may need assistance planning their target environments and migration strategies. However, most have indicated challenges and high risk with current, early plans to be out of Data Center 2 by the June 2020 target date,” DHS states.

DHS notes that it is seeking industry support to rapidly migrate systems to other data centers, private clouds, and FedRAMP-approved cloud service providers. As part of the migration, applications must remain fully operational to ensure a seamless end-user experience. To support the apps moving out of Data Center 2, DHS also requests assistance in optimizing Data Center 1 “and potentially other government-owned anchor point facilities.”

DHS states that it is considering a 10-year period of performance for a potential contract. In addition to the normal questions about industry capabilities, the RFI asks companies how the department should structure the capitalization of transition, move towards a zero-trust model, and take a common approach to cloud management, continuous diagnostics and mitigation (CDM), and associated instrumentation.

The RFI also shares the framework created by DHS’ Cloud Steering Group, which focuses on letting component agencies lead the effort and sets the goal of “realizing targeted benefits” through sharing best practices, offering shared capabilities, and driving alignment across all component efforts.

In addition to the work described in the RFI, DHS notes that it plans to modernize the OneNet network and transition to an Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) managed service provider. While not part of the work on the table, DHS notes that it is “highlighted to indicate mutual dependency.” The RFI asks how industry can partner with this managed service provider, who will be responsible for managing data and voice connectivity, managing the wide area network, and implementing the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative.

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MeriTalk Staff