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D--Storage On Demand

Solicitation Number: VA11814I0105
Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs
Office: VA Technology Acquisition Center
Location: VA Technology Acquisition Center
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Sources Sought
Added: Feb 10, 2014 11:52 am

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued for market research and planning purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation nor does it restrict the Government as to the ultimate acquisition approach. In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Any contract that might be awarded based on information received or derived from this market research will be the outcome of a competitive process.

The purpose of this RFI is to identify qualified contractors who are able to meet the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requirements, determine if commercial items are available or, could be modified to meet VA's requirements, determine the appropriate contract type i.e., firm fixed-price or cost-reimbursement or time and material, understand commercial pricing practices and other market information readily available.


The mission of the VA Enterprise Operations (EO) is to provide high quality, cost-effective information technology (IT) business solutions to VA and other Federal agency customers. EO has been a major data center in VA's system for over 40 years and is committed to supporting the Department's IT requirements. EO provides Data Protection services to its customers' data through disk mirroring and tape backups. Routine evaluation of the tape and storage environment is required to ensure Data Protection and Disaster Recovery resources are available to the customer in a timely manner. To meet its customers' ever increasing data storage requirements it has to maintain a large amount of storage. Maintaining large volumes of un-used storage for any given period of time is not cost effective, increasing the storage costs to our Corporate Data Center Operations (CDCO) customers, and is becoming extremely challenging with such technologies as cloud computing.


VA requires a storage approach that is tailored to the storage demands of the EO customer and not only takes into account growth, but also the rate of growth and the predictability or unpredictability of that growth. Such an approach needs to be scalable to address the various performance needs of the EO customer as well as capacity.

A 'storage on demand' strategy, sometimes referred to as "Utility Computing", would enable the datacenters to position large amounts of storage platforms (fully populated) on the computer room floor and only be charged when utilized (on demand). This approach aligns operational needs with procurement; reduces capital expenditures; provides ready-for-use capacity in as little as 72 hours; and possibly could negate maintenance costs. The VA EO is the owner, as there will be extra capacity on the floor to meet on demand requests. This capacity management is required for each of the sites listed in place of performance.

A storage on demand strategy coupled with Management Services will provide EO with a holistic storage service offering in a timely manner.

Submittal Information

This is a RFI only. It is requested that all companies interested in participating in this effort note their interest and provide indication of their respective capabilities to perform the effort described in the attached Performance Work Statement (PWS), entitled "Storage on Demand". Marketing material will not be accepted as an indication of capability. Companies must provide description of actual work performed that is relevant to the task areas in the attached PWS. It is also requested that the vendor respond to the following questions:

1. Capabilities/Qualifications (30 pages) - Description of the capabilities/qualifications/skills your company possesses to perform the work, to include but not limited to the following:

a. Does your company provide storage on demand service offerings? Please list them.

b. Can your company provide a suite of solutions or would it be achieved through al a carte offerings?

c. Does your solution support both mainframe and open systems platforms? Please list operating systems it supports.

d. What type of information has to be provided to your company in order to acquire storage on demand service offerings? If there is a template or customer service portal, please include information on that with your response.

e. Can you provide an example of a typical storage on demand service offering for a multi-site customer with over 7 PB worth of raw data?

f. What's the average turn-around time for storage to be available, i.e. when needs arise can storage be provided within hours, days, weeks?

g. How is the customer billed for the use of storage on demand service?

h. Does your solution provide native "charge back" reporting that can determine cost based on volume utilization of each tier? If so:

i. How does it account for clustered systems?

ii. Does it report by site, array, tier and physical server?

iii. Does it report by site, array, tier and virtual server?

iv. Does it report by site, array, tier and SQL instance?

v. Can it report on allocated or used storage or both?

vi. Does it allow for billing attributes (Customer and application codes) to associated usage? If yes, how?

i. Does the storage on demand solution include native robust reporting tools that provide performance data, current and historical consumption details, consumption trends and estimated growth projections at the host, volume, tier and SAN level?

j. Please provide sample service reports on the following topics (if they are not available, please state that in your response):

i. Performance

ii. Capacity

iii. Charge Back

iv. Business Impact

v. Set of metrics in response that aid to manage or set apart on capabilities

k. Please describe the type of ticketing and service desk integration capabilities available?

l. How will Block, File and Object storage be managed and maintained?

m. How will Block, File and Object storage be provisioned?

n. How is planned capacity managed and staged?

o. As performance requirements change over time for the end user, how can the host move to different performance tiers without service interruptions?

p. How do you plan on introducing new tiers of service?

q. What are the capabilities to meet the performance tiers?

r. Please describe your capabilities to support a replication strategy for five (5) VA region data centers? Remote? Local?

s. Please describe your proposed best-practices or Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

t. Please describe your best practice transition methodology for capacity on demand solution and associated services?

u. Based on your storage on demand service are there any concerns with protecting patient data or compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?

2. Teaming Arrangements (1 page) - Provide a description of Teaming Partners, Joint Ventures that your company would consider to perform the work.

3. Commercial Availability (3 pages) - Describe the commercial availability, to include duration, of your product/solution. If modifications are necessary, what is the commercial price and availability impact; and describe the magnitude of the modification.

4. Socio-Economic Status (1 page) - Indicate whether your company, subcontractors, teaming partners, joint ventures have a Federal Socio-Economic status, e.g., Small Business, Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Veteran Owned Small Business, Woman-Owned Small Business, Disadvantaged Small Business, and Hub Zone. If Service-Disabled or Veteran Owned Small Business, is your company and or partners registered in VA's VetBiz repository?

5. Price Information (3 pages) - Provide your commercial price history (including products, peripherals, services, labor, and all other items) and rough order of magnitude for the same or similar products/solutions.

6. Schedule Contracts (1 page) - Does your company maintain any Schedule Contracts (GSA, VETS GWAC, T4, etc.) where the required solution/services are offered? If so, please provide contract information to include Source, Contract Number, Period of Performance, Government point of contact (as applicable), and any other pertinent information.

7. Other Market Information (1 pages) - Provide any other relevant information; however this information must be included within the 40 page limitation.

It is requested that interested contractors submit a response (electronic submission) of no more than 40 pages in length, single spaced, 12 point font minimum that addresses the above information. In response to the RFI, interested contractors shall submit the above information by 11:59PM ET on February 28, 2014, via the Virtual Office of Acquisition (VOA). The web address for the VOA site is Vendors must be registered users on the VOA website in order to submit responses; registration can be done through the VOA site. Once Vendors are registered, Vendors can click on the Proposal Dashboard link and within that link click on Add Proposal to open the form to upload files. The Proposal Type dropdown field should be changed to VA118-14-I-0105 to reflect the RFI being responded to. For registration or technical issues concerning submission, contact Questions and Answers shall be submitted by close of business February 14, 2014, via email to

This RFI is for planning purposes only and shall not be considered an Invitation for Bids, Request for Task Execution Plan, Request for Quotations or a Request for Proposal. Additionally, there is no obligation on the part of the Government to acquire any products or services described in this RFI. Your response to this RFI will be treated only as information for the Government to consider. You will not be entitled to payment for direct or indirect costs that you incur in responding to this RFI. This request does not constitute a solicitation for proposals or the authority to enter into negotiations to award a contract. No funds have been authorized, appropriated or received for this effort. The information provided may be used by VA in developing its acquisition strategy and Performance Work Statement. Interested parties are responsible for adequately marking proprietary, restricted or competition sensitive information contained in their response. The Government does not intend to pay for the information submitted in response to this RFI.

As part of the review of this information, the Government's contractor, Systems Made Simple, will assist with the review of information provided.

Points of Contact: David Nostrant, Contracting Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs Technology Acquisition Center, Phone (732) 440-9706, Email and Matthew Truex, Contract Specialist, Department of Veterans Affairs Technology Acquisition Center, Phone (732) 440-9650, Email

See attached document: Storage on Demand PWS
Please consult the list of document viewers if you cannot open a file.


Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Posted Date:
February 10, 2014
Description: VA118-14-I-0105 Attachment 3 - Enterprise Storage Management RACI Chart.pdf
Department of Veterans Affairs;Office of Acquisition Operations;Technology Acquisition Center;23 Christopher Way;Eatontown NJ 07724
Matthew Truex
Contract Specialist