Defense IT

Army drafts specs for next round of commercial hardware buys

The Army, which has been looking to standardize its IT on several fronts as part of its overall modernization efforts, has released a draft statement of work outlining the requirements for commercial hardware purchased under the next version of the Army Desktop and Mobile Computing contract, known as ADMC-3.

The statement of work, or SOW, issued by the Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) office and the Army Contracting Command, sets the requirements for desktop computers, workstations, notebooks, tablets, slates, electronic displays, thin clients, printers and multifunction devices. 

CHESS is the Army’s primary source for commercial hardware and software, through which the Army and other federal agencies can purchase products under a variety of competitive contracts. One reason for standardizing product configurations is security, since standardization makes security updates and patch management a lot easier. Another is to generate savings through high-volume purchases through the service’s 10-year-old Consolidated Buy program, which lets Army customers get products at bulk prices, even when they but small amounts.

Among the key requirements set forth in the SOW is support for the Unified Master Gold Disk (UMGD), which is part of efforts to establish a core configuration, or operating system and application image, in line with the federal configuration baselines and the Defense Information System Agency’s Security Technical Implementation Guides.

The image used by the service, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, is called the Army Golden Master. The Army said it will furnish copies of the AGM to vendors, with the idea that they can create a Master Gold Disk for their products. Updated versions of the AGM will be sent out at regular intervals, the Army said, as will, on occasion, custom images that could vary from the AGM but are required by specific components.

Any products available under the contract also will be offered during each of the two annual Consolidated Buys—one of them running from Oct. 1 to March 31, the other from April 1 through Sept. 30. The SOW also goes into detail defining the products that qualify under each of its categories (such as what defines a desktop computer, integrated desktop computer and workstation) and stipulating what features each should have.

At this point, the Army isn’t soliciting products or looking to engage in a Q&A with vendors, the SOW said. It is merely seeking comments on the draft statement of work. Responses are due by April 3.  

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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