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NGA seeking Linux solution for classified data

US: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), US, is compiling information on the capabilities of vendors who can assist it with its Linux-based information system. “This is not a pioneering or expanded use of the Linux requirement. NGA continuously seeks new and updated IT solutions to better support its mission partners,” said Julia Collins, public affairs officer for NGA. “NGA also must ensure that these solutions meet unique requirements for operating in a classified environment.”

NGA has asked vendors to provide a description of their capabilities by February 11. In a quick-response “Sources Sought” notice issued January 28, NGA said, “The information should describe how and why NGA would utilise your Linux solution — not only responding to the ability to meet the criteria listed, but detailed capability to ensure it is a viable solution for NGA.” However, the notice does not guarantee that NGA will soon issue a procurement order.

“The Linux Operating System (OS) is used for a wide variety of programmes within the NGA. The agency’s mission is to provide geospatial-intelligence data and products in support of national security Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource,” Collins explained.

NGA specified that vendors must demonstrate several Linux technical and performance requirements, including an open source Linux operating system that is fully compatible with NGA’s existing solution (Red Hat Linux); the ability to scale deployments without increasing administrative overhead; the ability to add servers without buying additional support tools necessary to provide updates and patches; and compatibility with the existing virtualization environment (VMware).

Vendors must also demonstrate complete binary capability, and they must identify which specific vendor OS add-ons are incorporated into the Linux package. NGA requires that vendors have the ability to manage the complete life cycle of a Linux infrastructure — specifically, the current NGA Linux infrastructure — to include the ability to deploy, configure, manage, update and then re-deploy Linux systems, all from a single Graphical User Interface (GUI) console.

All vendors must demonstrate an ability to keep track of systems and applications from within the network console by viewing reports that let system administrators take action before performance becomes an issue.

Vendors must have Top Secret or SCI-cleared support personnel and facilities in the event NGA has to provide classified information from a machine to the vendor for analysis. This may be accomplished either by sending the data to an approved classified system or bringing a cleared contractor to an NGA facility.

“The Department is looking to adopt transparent policies and procedures in line with President Obama’s Open Government Directive,” said Daniel Risacher, associate director of enterprise services and integration at DoD.

Source: www.linuxinsider.com