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IT Enterprise Converged Infrastructure Solutions

Solicitation Number: SAQMMA14I0001
Agency: Department of State
Office: Office of Acquisitions
Location: Acquisition Management
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Sources Sought
Added: Oct 22, 2013 1:39 pm



This Request for Information (RFI) is released to conduct market research for planning purposes only. This RFI shall not be considered an invitation for bid, request for proposal, or in any way an obligation on the part of the Government to acquire products or services. Your response to this RFI will be treated as information only. No entitlement to payment of direct or indirect costs or charges by the Government will arise as a result of contractor submission of responses to this RFI, or the Government use of any information provided. All information provided may be used by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) in developing its acquisition strategy, small business/socio-economic set-aside decisions, statement of work/statement of objectives, and performance specifications. The Government does not guarantee any action beyond this RFI.

Interested parties are responsible for adequately marking proprietary or competition sensitive information contained in their response. The Government does not intend to award a contract based on this RFI or to otherwise pay for the information submitted in response to this RFI.  DOS is requesting industry comment on the respondent’s ability to provide a solution based on the requirements described below.




The Department of State (DOS) Information Resource Management (IRM) bureau provides information technology (IT) infrastructure in the form of virtualization, storage, compute, and networking for domestic data centers and overseas posts worldwide.  The design, build, support, and management of these infrastructure resources are managed through a consolidated effort between the Enterprise Server Operations Centers (ESOC - Domestic) and the Global Information Technology Modernization program (GITM - Overseas).  These two entities collaborate on all aspects of the worldwide centralized VMware-based virtualization implementation including virtualization, storage, compute, networking, support and management. Current advances in technology including converged systems may provide opportunities for further consolidation at the enterprise level.  The term, “converged technology”, is defined as a stack (computing, storage, and networking systems) with local and offsite backup capabilities that would replace both DOS’ Sensitive But Unclassified and Classified existing core operating environments.  RFI responses should include a description as to how the respondent can deliver and manage such a solution and ensure equipment destined for a secure environment will remain secure from beginning to installation/deployment.




The intent of this RFI is to seek information about industry ability to provide design, integration, building, shipping and installation of an ECP solution capable of replacing the Department’s current core operating environment for domestic and overseas sites.  The solution will include: support for the Department’s existing IT virtual infrastructure, migration planning guidance to move to the ECP, hardware and software supporting the new ECP, processes that support pre-configured systems prior to delivery, and customization based on an established set of base parameters depending upon the target overseas or domestic site.  RFI responses should offer solutions to meet DOS IT infrastructure requirements while controlling costs and reducing the core operating physical footprint, power consumption, and administrative overhead and overall costs. The purpose of this RFI is to explore the possibility of implementing a single Enterprise Converged Platform (ECP) that meets the requirements of both ESOC and GITM.  The following sections individually describe the overall requirements of each program, but the solution presented in the response must focus on how these two areas, ESOC and GITM, will benefit together from a consolidated and converged solution.




GITM is a centralized program providing unclassified and classified desktops, servers, and core local area network (LAN) IT equipment modernizations through a standardized lifecycle refresh process.  GITM’s customer base spans the globe.  As part of GITM’s search for new lifecycle refresh technology, the GITM office is seeking information on a pre-packaged converged technical solution that could improve GITM’s modernization efforts and reduce costs.  The intention is to move from the current model to a new Enterprise Converged Platform (ECP). The ECP will vary in size and performance based on current Department requirements.  The ECP will be preconfigured and include racks, servers, switches, storage with local and offsite backup capabilities, and any necessary wiring. 


RFI responses should explain how the respondent would design and build a system that is applicable to all installation sizes, with modularity to fit the smallest to largest requirements, and redundancy to prevent single points of failure. There are multiple assumptions one must make about system requirements, specifically sizing. In defining some of these assumptions, it is suggested to make use of the following requirements:


Data Sizing Requirements


Site Configuration (User Count)

Space Requirement (GB)

60 Users


125 Users


250 Users


500 Users


1000 Users


1500 Users


2000 Users


2500 Users



The use of these data sizing assumptions is suggested to help simplify the GITM RFI response analysis.  Outside of this table, RFI responses should clearly outline all other assumptions made.

RFI responses should provide information on the design, build, integration, shipment, installation, support and management of the ECP solution for GITM.  Additionally, RFI responses should provide information used to determine the appropriate lifecycles for the ECP stack.  Information on how repairs would occur in the event of an outage should be included.  For example, if a remote site experiences equipment failure, how long would it take to re-establish full operating capabilities?




The Enterprise Server Operations Center (ESOC) operates multiple Tier 3 data centers domestically for the Department.  The customer base predominantly extends to 25,000 domestic IT users: however, centralized services for approximately the same number of overseas users are moving rapidly into the ESOC.  All of the ESOC domestic data centers can function as primary providers for enterprise applications, though in many cases a single data center is primary with a one or more locations functioning as secondary backup data centers.  Within the data centers, the ESOC hosts virtual infrastructure supporting the operations of the Department.  The virtual infrastructure consists of storage, compute, and networking to support approximately 4000 virtual machines at the primary site.  These machines are further supported on approximately three petabytes of storage over 10 GB networking. Compute, storage, and networking for the 4000 virtual machines is duplicated and replicated to the secondary site or sites.  These assumptions are suggested to help simplify analysis of the RFI responses.  Any other assumptions should be clearly identified in the RFI response.




ESOC and GITM follow a tiered support process including three tiers.  Tier 1 provides alert monitoring and problem escalation.  Tier 2 provides problem management and routine service implementation.  Tier 3 provides engineering support and extended support as appropriate.  RFI responses should recommend a solution (e.g. software) that provides consolidated management and monitoring of the virtual and real infrastructure, including both domestic and overseas from a “single pane of glass” domestically.   A combined management platform that addresses both the technical and management aspects of overseeing the converged infrastructure is desired.




Interested parties shall describe existing or near-term mature capabilities or products that meet the aforementioned requirements. A written response shall address respondent’s approach, support, and limitations for these capabilities and any unique or special variations or extensions to these capabilities.


All responses must be submitted in writing by email only, in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Adobe (.pdf) format, to, such that they are received at that electronic address no later than the closing date/time of this notice. White Papers are the preferred submittal format for capability packages. Responses should be no longer than 12 pages. A list of suggested materials (e.g. manufacturer/brand, part number, and quantity/configuration) and a budgetary rough order of magnitude (see below) should also be provided but are not included in the 12-page limit. The Government is not interested in marketing responses. Marketing material is not an acceptable response.  Instead, responses should describe actual current capabilities or future proposed capabilities. The submitted package must be clear, concise, complete, and shall include the following identifying business information:

 --  Identify the respondent’s company name, address, telephone number, and point of contact (with name, title, phone, and email).

Identify the respondent’s CAGE code and DUNS number.

Proprietary information must be clearly marked as such.

Small Business/Socio-Economic status of respondent, if any, (i.e. small business, small disadvantaged business, 8(a) small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, HUBZone small business, woman-owned small business, and economically-disadvantaged women-owned small business). Note: The applicable NAICS code for this effort is 541519, Information Technology Value Added Resellers, with a size standard of 150 employees.

If the solutions suggested are available on the respondent’s GSA Schedule contract or any other Government-wide contract (e.g. GWACs), provide the number of that/those contract(s).




In addition to technical solution descriptions and information, respondents should provide general pricing information (i.e. Rough Order of Magnitude) for each solutions(s) and option(s) suggested in its response. The Government understands that not enough detail is available at present to fully price a solution; however, high-level ROM pricing information will give to Department a very general idea of implementation costs (e.g. a $100,000 project versus a $1 million project versus a $100 million project).


Questions regarding this RFI should be directed to the Department of State point by email only, sent to Submit questions no later than 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Time on Monday, October 28, 2013 in order to allow adequate time for the government to respond prior to the closing date of this RFI.  


1735 N. Lynn St.
Arlington, Virginia 22209
United States
Washington, District of Columbia 20520
United States
Steven G. Haines,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 7038756746