The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to expand its footprint in the cloud by creating direct connections to cloud service providers, according to a solicitation released July 15. Responses are due by July 29.

FDA is looking to establish high-speed, secure connections from its data centers in northern Virginia and Maryland to existing cloud service providers, in order to ensure that cloud services can meet the highest requirements of FISMA (the Federal Information Security Modernization Act).

The solicitation cites the Cloud Smart strategy and the FedRAMP program as part of its rationale for expanding cloud service usage.

“The FDA is expanding and modernizing its cloud computing infrastructure to align and meet the requirements of customer use cases across the Centers,” the solicitation notes.

For its first connection, FDA wants to establish a connection to Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud, with connections to other cloud services in the future. The connection would improve availability, reduce latency issues, increase bandwidth for migrations, and provide secure connections. The direct connection also would allow FDA to bypass requirements from the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) program, the agency noted in its solicitation.

The agency is looking for a contractor to provide “the network circuits that connect FDA data centers to the Interconnect Service Provider data centers, Interconnect Service, technical support, and professional services to install, configure, test, and deploy the Interconnect Service to production.” The solicitation sets 16 criteria for acceptability.

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MeriTalk Staff