EMC wins $210M SSA contract

EMC Corp. has won a $210 million contract to support mainframe storage needs of the Social Security Administration.

The agency’s solicitation invited EMC and any authorized resellers to bid on the 10-year contract.

The requirements include mainframe disk storage hardware and software, virtual tape libraries, de-duplication, replication, warrant support, configuration and other supporter services.

Before concluding that EMC was the only storage vendor that could meet its requirements, the Social Security Administration conducted market research and asked IBM and Hitachi Data Systems present their solutions.

The analysis of Hitachi’s solution was redacted in the justification document, but IBM proposed a replication solution called Global Mirror, which uses a disk-to-disk based replication method and would require the migration of all current data from EMC hardware to IBM hardware.

But that kind of migration was too risky for Social Security.

The agency can only take its systems down on a few select weekends each year and never for more than 12 hours; more than 12 hours would compromise data integrity, the agency said.

“The agency’s business resilience posturing allows for minimal mainframe system interruption by establishing thorough plans, procedures and technical measures that can enable a system to be recovered as quickly and effectively as possible following a service disruption,” the Social Security Administration wrote.

SSA has more than 70 data exchanges with other federal, state and local government entities including the Office of Child Support Enforcement, eVerify, the IRS and the Homeland Security Department.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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