Background Information

Questions and Answers

Q. Can you provide server requirements or the BOM?

A. We have high-level requirements on page 4 of the RFP and have uploaded a recent Live Optics report to show our current usage on the RFP page. With those high-level requirements and the Live Optics report combined, we are asking vendors to develop their recommended BOM and design for proposal. 

Q. What is the timeframe for implementation?

A. Vendors will not be notified of award until end of February with a goal to begin project implementation by March or April at the latest.

Q. Should bids include leveraging the one existing host that was purchased 1 year ago?

A. Bids can include this option or can bid the option for all new hosts. Life School will accept multiple responses from one vendor but vendors must explain the advantages or disadvantages between their proposals.

Q. Should bids include replacement switches for the current Dell N4032F used in the cluster?

A. Solutions that require or recommend under best practices dedicated switches should include replacements in their proposal(s). Solutions that do not require or recommend under best practices dedicated switches can include replacements as an optional item for Life School to consider. Currently, these switches are used solely to comply with Nutanix recommended design. 

Q. Is storage space the main issue currently?

A. Storage is a critical issue currently based on current Nutanix design. Life School has 55TB raw storage in the cluster.

Q. Why do you want to leave Hyper-V?

A. Hyper-V is more demanding on SATA DOM’s for read/write procedures, Hyper-V has compatibility issues with 3rd party products, and Hyper-V has added regular management-labor to Life School staff.

Q. What level of training should be included in the proposal(s) (basic knowledge transfer or dedicated hours)?

A. All proposals should include basic knowledge transfer time but proposals can include optional line items for dedicated hours of in-depth training.

Q. How long should solutions be designed to support Life School?

A. Solutions should be designed for a minimum of 5 years. Bids should include support and warranty for 5 years.

Q. Will you accept responses for a backup solution?

A. Backups are not a part of this RFP but vendors are welcome to include complimentary backup solutions as an optional line item within their proposal. Solutions that have a native backup built-in are welcome.

Q. What backup system do you use and when does it expire?

A. Life School currently uses Veeam and it expires June 2020.

Q. Are growth metrics for the 5 years listed in the RFP?

A. Yes, 25% in year 1 with a 15% growth in years 2-5.

Q. Is your compute limited currently?

A. Memory is limited but CPU is not.

Q. Do you have a preferred ratio of flash to spinning disk storage?

A. Life School currently relies on 80% spinning disk with a 20% flash and has no issues with read/write performance. More flash is an attractive option but Life does not have a performance requirement needing that dedicated speed. The vendor’s proposal(s) should recommend the appropriate ratio of spinning disk to flash-based on Live Optics reports.

Q. What is the priority of ease of management for grading the RFP?

A. Ease of management is a huge priority for Life School in terms of dependability or uptime of the system, simple patching process for hosts, and streamlined access to the hypervisors or management console.

Q. How is Life School backing up now?

A. Life School is running backups to a separate Dell PowerVault appliance within the same rack using Veeam.

Q. How much storage capacity do you have for backups now?

A. 16TB

Q. How important is the quality of service for implementation?

A. Vendor's delivery capabilities, warranty and warranty service history count for 10 points out of 100 on the RFP grading sheet. All proposals should include labor to provide a turn-key, end to end solution for implementing the new server system, migrating existing VM’s or creating new (e.g. DC’s or DHCP servers), and verifying successful implementation and health of the new system.

Q. Where is Life School’s data center?

A. Life School is hosted at Databank in downtown Dallas at 400 South Akard Street.

Q. What is your local network capacity for switching?

A. Life School currently has 10Gbps links but can easily scale to 40Gbps.

Q. On page 6 of the RFP 2 hour support is requested for 30 days from implementation completion to project sign off. Can Life School explain further?

A. Life School expects the awarded vendor to provide within 2 hours of on-site support for business affecting issues related to materials, design, or implementation of the project. This support is not applicable for routine maintenance Life School does during this period, crashes or system faults unrelated to the material, design, or implementation of the system on behalf of the awarded vendor (e.g. Power loss at the datacenter, Life School configuration changes, etc..).

Q. Do proposals need to include a certificate of insurance?

A. No

Q. Should section 8e of the bid requirements be used for alternative proposals or for optional line items?

A. This section can be used for both alternative proposals as well as optional line items.

Q. Do you use Hyper-V failover features or rely on Nutanix?

A. Life School relies on Nutanix for failover features.


Dr. Brent Wilson - President
Sharon Williams - Secretary
Christopher Clemmons - Treasurer
Dr. Sharon Lee - Board Member
Ruben Martinez - Board Member
Chris Ransbottom - Board Member


132 East Ovilla Road, Suite A,
Red Oak, TX  75154
P: (469) 850-LIFE(5433)
F: (469)850-5434

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