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Pentagon Accepting Proposals for $639MM Data Storage Contract

In 2014, the Defense Information Systems Agency, in tandem with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Pentagon, awarded their second enterprise storage solutions (ESS) procurement, ESS II, to a company known as World Wide Technology, Inc. Although a lesser-known brand, they immediately joined forces with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to fulfill the contract with an easily scalable, on-demand storage platform.

But their contract is set to expire, and DISA is already looking at their next contract. Entitled ESS III, their newest offering comprises $639 million and has the potential to last up to 10 years. The contract itself mandates five years, but an optional extension of up to five years is available.

Their newest contract comes just after several other significant agreements with Lockheed Martin, including separate contracts for $928 million and, most recently $480 million. Those specific contracts are meant to aide in the development of hypersonic weapons.

ESS III, on the other hand, focuses solely on data storage and security. According to representatives with World Wide Technology, the recipient of DISA's previous contract involving enterprise storage, the initiative "enables the Department of Defense (DOD) to transition to a robust and flexible enterprise storage environment that provides a secure, resilient and flexible method for DISA customers to access their data anywhere, anytime and on any device globally."

While the latest contract has a lot more capital behind it, there are some increased responsibilities, too. For starters, ESS II ensured that the DoD maintained full operational control over the storage platform. Under ESS III, however, this responsible is shifted to that of the contractor. While the DoD still oversees the rollout, their involvement is primarily limited to software development and regular platform updates.

The official request for proposal (RFP) reads, in part: "The scope of the ESS III acquisition is to provide a managed storage service for the Government providing solutions to support all application workloads. The storage service solution shall include all storage, network, and operating system hardware and software functioning within these environments. The contract shall require the Contractor to provide a solution for off-site storage of tape / media. The Contractor must provide the Government with a detailed hardware / configuration list for all solutions."

New and recurring contracts like this underscore the U.S. government's commitment to data security and protection on a long-term basis. While the majority of their spending still revolves around the development of next-gen weapons, as some of their recent contracts with Lockheed Martin show, it's nice to see them taking a highly proactive stance toward data protection in the 21st century.

It will be interesting to see who ends up getting the ESS III contract. With so much money on the line, DISA is sure to receive proposals from every corner of the IT world.

Finding Out More Information

Third-party contractors who wish to be considered for the ESS III contract must submit their bids by September 10, 2018. To find out more information on the ESS initiative, or to explore DISA in greater depth, please visit their official website at {{|}}.


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