TSA looks to cloud providers for disaster recovery

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared on

The Transportation Security Administration is asking cloud service providers for ideas on how they can support TSA’s Technology Infrastructure Modernization division's IT system that vets transportation workers, as well the agency's broader move to virtual services.

The TIM, as it’s called, is a division of the Mission Essential Services Directorate of the TSA Office of Intelligence & Analysis. It runs an Oracle Exadata-based system that communicates internally with other systems at TSA and, according to the Federal IT Investment Dashboard, externally to other entities, including the Coast Guard, airports and U.S. ports of entry.

TIM has achieved its initial operating capability at the Department of Homeland Security's Data Center 1 (DC1) and has begun evaluating its options for providing disaster recovery capabilities.

In in a request for information posted by TSA on FedBizOpps June 10, the agency said it wants to find a commercial cloud-based disaster recovery services provider to back up the TIM in emergencies or disasters.

It added, however, that the disaster recovery RFI is also a way of better understanding a broader range of cloud-based service options for the agency. It asked respondents to provide not only a disaster recovery solution, but a separate response that includes their overall cloud service offerings aimed at federal agencies.

TSA said it wants industry feedback on available commercial cloud-based services and solutions to achieve IT efficiencies such as reliability, interoperability, and improvement in secure end-to-end performance.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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