US House of Representatives plans for a new data center

New colo facility will need to be able to support the activities of multiple Legislative Branch agencies.

The US House of Representatives has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for data center space and operations, looking for a colocation facility that will be located nowhere near Washington, DC and that can support multiple agencies for both day to day operations and as a disaster recovery and business continuity site.

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The data center needs to be able to meet not only the needs of the House of Representatives but also other agencies that support the Legislative branch of the government, including the Government Printing Office, Government Accountability Office, U.S. Capitol Police, Architect of the US Government, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Library of Congress. The data center must be able to provide a secure cage for each individual agency, on an as needed basis.

Like many data center RFPs, it is looking for service-level agreements guaranteeing 100% uptime and availability, with graduated penalties if either drops below five nines. There are a few interesting pieces to the RFP, however, some of which are specific to the concerns of government. This includes a requirement for hot aisle containment, which presumably would be for each individual cage, as opposed to other type of cooling.  Other criteria are those you would expect to see, outlining the space, power, and security requirements for the facility as a whole as well as the individual cages.

The colocation facility must also be able to provide significant dedicated exterior space, with a requirement for the installation of multiple satellite antennas (5 meter dish) and protective domes as well as room to support the placement of long term staff due to disaster recovery actions or events through government-provided on-premise office trailers (800 square foot trailer), potentialy one per agency, simultaneously.

Also interesting are the geographic requirements, with expected specifications for local police, fire, and highway access, but also an explicit requirement that the facility be 300 to 350 miles (point to point) from Capitol Hill, be within 100 mile of the nearest military facility, and more than 100 miles from the coast line. This will rule out, for example, many of the newest large scale colocation facilities being opened in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

For complete details, the 32 page document is available here (PDF)

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