DHS seeks second data center

The Homeland Security Department is looking to IT companies for ideas on building a second, redundant data center to supplement the one it operates under an agreement with the Navy.

In a request for information, the Office of Procurement Operations is asking for industry input in developing objectives, performance metrics and service-level agreements for a performance-based service contract.

In its statement of objectives, the agency listed the second data center as being a large, redundant, secure, scalable capability that will operate in an "active-active" mode with the first, 100,000-square-foot data center.

The active-active mode is defined as a design that "will provide DHS with sufficient backup, disaster recovery and continuity of operations" in an emergency event. The design also will improve availability and prevent data loss in the event of a complete data center capability failure. The active-active configuration also allows for system upgrades and maintenance to be performed with little to no downtime.

The two data centers will be separated geographically but fully integrated operationally, DHS said in its statement.

To ensure an uninterrupted source of commercial electricity, the two data centers should be located on separate power grids, if possible, the agency statement said. If one grid loses power, operations can continue with power from the second grid.

The existing data center is located within the Eastern Interconnect power grid. If it is not possible to put the centers on separate grids, the vendor for the second data center must furnish a plan for mitigating the risk to operations if the Eastern Interconnect grid loses power.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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