DHS seeks vendor input on redundant data center plan

In a move aimed at bolstering its IT security, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is asking technology vendors for their ideas and cost estimates for creating a redundant data center for the agency's use.

In a letter last week to prospective IT vendors, the DHS said it is "conducting market research ... to gain a greater understanding of the full range of available options for meeting the department's requirement to provide a second consolidated data center capability.

"The second data center would provide DHS with an active-active data center capability that mirrors that of the [existing data] center," the letter said.

The request for information is an early step designed to gather information and does not necessarily mean that there will be a contract-award process, the agency said.

The DHS, which was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, brought together the IT systems of 22 federal agencies to help fight terrorism in the U.S.

One of the agency's major objectives is to create a large-scale, redundant, physically secure, scalable data center in another part of the U.S., away from the its existing data center. The new facility will be fully integrated with the existing data center, according to the DHS.