Attention all storage vendors: The U.S. DOJ wants you

The U.S. Department of Justice is considering a massive consolidation of its storage network that would link more than 2,000 offices and multiple data centers into a single, easy-to-manage enterprise storage architecture.

According to a request for information (RFI) obtained by Computerworld, the DOJ last week began soliciting vendors "to identify solutions, technologies, and best practices" to interconnect the agency's "decentralized" infrastructure. The department is currently bogged down with managing multiple vendor technologies, which has forced it into continuing to buy varied storage products, according to an RFI proposal.

"The objective of this initiative is to provide a common set of storage solutions that can be leveraged by all components, while driving down cost for products based on the size of the department," the document stated.

According to the RFI, the DOJ needs data center storage for several unspecified application systems, as well as functions such as data backup and archiving to locally and geographically distributed locations and systems. The department is also hoping to lower total cost of ownership while increasing data integrity and security.

The RFI specifies that the DOJ wants to use common, off-the-shelf products, as opposed to custom products, and while it would like to leverage existing storage technology, it is also willing to rip and replace its systems.

"The government encourages creativity and forward thinking," the RFI stated.

Existing technologies include an unspecified number of storage area networks, network-attached storage and direct-attached storage for mainframe, Unix, Linux and Windows servers.

The DOJ stated that it would be focusing on technologies that have scalability, availability, better performance and security. It is also hoping to install better monitoring and reporting tools and achieve greater interoperability between disparate systems, a more continuity in its operations.

The RFI document does not specify whether the areas are listed in order of importance. In addition, the DOJ said it will deploy the technology through an incremental strategy as opposed to a "forklift upgrade."

The document does not specify a start date, time frame or budget for the project. Vendors have until Aug. 23 to submit a response of no more than 50 pages.

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