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Social Security Taps EMC for $210 Million Sole Source Storage Award

Konstantin Yolshin/

The Social Security Administration plans to beef up its mainframe disk storage capacity with hardware from EMC Corp. under a $210 million sole source contract.

SSA, in a formal justification of its award to EMC, said it started replicating its data using proprietary EMC software in 2009. As a result, SSA said, “we must continue to use EMC’s replication software…without requiring a migration of data to new hardware.” 

The agency said EMC “offered us the most efficient and risk free hardware and software conversion” and allows for a smooth transition to a new, $500 million national data center slated to open in 2015.

SSA said it planned to award the ten-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract to either EMC or one of its resellers such as CDW-G or Capgemini. The first five years of the contract covers acquisition of hardware, software and service and the last five years includes only services.

The agency used 12 petabytes of raw disk storage as of last November, and when SSA issued its request for storage in Jan. 2012, it said it expected it would need additional petabytes of storage in the future.

After IBM and Hitachi Data Systems submitted proposals, SSA “concluded that only companies which can provide EMC storage subsystems would meet the agency’s requirements,” the agency said.

IBM, SSA said in its justification document, proposed to use its “Global Mirror” replication software which would require a switch from EMC storage hardware to IBM hardware, a process which could take three years. SSA blacked out the reasons it passed on Hitachi hardware in its justification document.

(Image via Konstantin Yolshin/

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