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Securities Agency Retracts Data Center RFP

The Securities and Exchange Commission still needs a new home for one of its two data centers by March, when its lease runs out.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called off plans to rent a new data center facility, a move that leaves plans to relocate one of its two data centers up in the air.

On Dec. 2 the SEC canceled a request for proposal (RFP) to rent a new facility in the Washington area for one of its data centers. The lease on the center's current location runs out in March 2011. The original RFP for the new facility was dated Oct. 15.

The SEC was looking for a contractor to provide a secure backup and second primary data center at least 20 miles away from SEC headquarters in Washington, and at least 10 miles away from the SEC Operation Center in Alexandria, Va., according to the RFP.

The SEC's data center requirements are fairly significant. The commission handles confidential financial information from a wide range of sources, and thus requires a highly secure facility.

Information also has to be available on a 24-7 basis. This is especially crucial because the SEC maintains EDGAR, a database containing the financial records of publicly traded companies. A number of institutions and investors rely on this database to do business.

The commission was seeking a 4,000-square-foot facility that could handle data lines, telecommunications infrastructure and provide collocated hosting services, according to the RFP.

The agency also was aiming for a site that did not require personnel from the Alexandria location to cross the Potomac River to reach it. The site also was to maintain the existing data-replication architecture between the operational center and the current Alexandria data center, according to the original RFP.

The canceled RFP appears to be the second time the SEC has called off its search for a new facility. A request for information posted on FedBizOpps in February 2009 contained requirements similar to the October RFP. That RFP has so far not been fulfilled.

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