DISA picks Vion for on demand storage buy

Enterprise storage buy second in award in push towards utility-based computer contracts


By Bob Brewin

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded Vion Corp. a $700 million contract enterprise storage service contact designed by the agency to provide it with 'in demand' storage at 17 data centers in the United States and one in Germany.

This is the second major contract DISA has awarded in its shift to utility based computing services infrastructure. Last fall DISA awarded contracts with a total valued of $700 million to Vion, Apptis, Sun Microsystems, Vion and Hewlett-Packard to provide it with server capacity at its 18 data centers.

Doug Moore, executive vice president of Vion said the DISA Enterprise Storage Services contract is the largest contract that Vion, a small veteran owned business, has ever won. Industry sources said that EMC and Hewlett-Packard and also bid on the DISA storage contract. Spokesman for both companies did not return calls for comment by deadline.

DISA said in its statement of work for that it intends to use the enterprise storage contract to provide a reliable, responsive, and cost effective information storage infrastructure of 'on-demand' enterprise services.

DISA said it plans to use the contract to provide a 'dynamically scalable storage capability' readily adjusted for changes in processing and throughput requirements, both increases priced on an 'as used' utility basis.
Storage capacity provided by Vion must support a wide range of computing environments and operating systems including, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Windows, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, IBM z/OS, IBM z/VM and ESX Server.
The contract also requires Vion or provides a high level of availability 99.999 per cent ' that is readily scalable to adjust to increases and decreased in required storage capacity.

Moore said Vion has been providing computing service to DISA on a utility basis at five data centers under the company's almost four year old, $25 million assured computing contract and he considers the enterprise storage award a follow-on to that work.

In a related development, Iron Mountain said that the Defense Information DISA awarded it a contract provide offsite tape vaulting services for 19 DISA locations. The company did not disclose the value of the contract.

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