|Title:||NSF9224--Network Information Services Manager(s) for NSFNET and NREN|
|Date:||March 19, 1992|
I. Purpose of This Solicitation
This solicitation invites proposals for one or more NIS Manager organizations to: extend and coordinate directory and database services and information services for the NSFNET; and provide registration services for non-military internet networks now performed by the Defense Information Systems Agency Network Information Center (the DISA NIC). The DISA NIC will continue to provide for the registration of military networks.
It is anticipated that this solicitation will result in one or more five-year cooperative agreements between NSF and the organization(s) chosen as the NIS Manager(s). NSF funding is expected to be approximately $2,000,000 per year.
This project solicitation is issued pursuant to the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq) and the Federal Cooperative Agreement Act (31 U.S.C. 6305) and is not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
Today more than 5,000 networks comprise the Internet. These networks link together hundreds of thousands of computers and millions of users throughout the world. The domestic, non-military portion of the Internet includes NSFNET. It also includes other federally sponsored networks such as NASA Science Internet (NSI) and Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). NSFNET, NSI, and ESnet, as well as some other networks of the Internet, are related to the National Research and Education Network (NREN) which was defined in the President's Fiscal 1992 budget and which has been au-thorized by the passage in December, 1991, of Public Law 102-194.
The NREN is projected to evolve from a part of the Internet containing portions of NSFNET, NSI, and ESnet. This evolution will reflect the legal requirements of the various sponsoring agencies. For example, NASA and DOE are mission agencies whose networks' traffic must relate to the agencies' missions. NSF, on the other hand, is chartered to support most science and engineering research and education; hence NSFNET can carry all traffic contemplated for the NREN and may in fact support additional traffic as well.
Because of the breadth of the charter of the NSFNET, it is projected that it will continue to serve an expanding base of research and education users. The provision of enhanced network information services for NSFNET will be an important part of the expansion in user base.
In cooperation with the Internet community, the National Science Foundation has developed this solicitation for one or more NIS Managers to provide and/or coordinate Registration Services, Directory and Database Services, and Information Services for the NSFNET. It is anticipated that the definition and provision of these services will help facilitate the evolution of the NSFNET and the development of the NREN. References to NSFNET in this solicitation should in general be understood to include the NREN as well.
Certain network information services are currently being offered by a variety of providers. Some of these existing services are as follows.
It is expected that the NIS Manager organization(s) selected for award(s) as a result of this solicitation: will, as discussed in Section III below, provide services to end users and to campus- and mid-level network service providers; will replace certain network service providers (such as those mentioned in the first and second bullets above); and will coordinate with mid-level and other network organizations (such as those mentioned in the third through fifth bullets above).
III. Project Requirements
The services shown below are grouped into two categories, priority and desirable. As stated above, the given list of services should not be viewed as definitive and proposers are encouraged to propose other services that they feel are important.
All services listed below that are preceded with a "(P)" are priority services, and an award for those services will be made, if possible. (This does not imply that all responders must propose priority services since multiple NIS Manager awards may be made.)
B. Desirable Services
All services listed below that are not preceded with a "(P)" are viewed as suggested services that may be considered by proposers as they prepare their responses.
Some services listed below are to be provided to end users and others are to be provided to other network information service providers. The NIS Manager(s) called for in this solicitation will be primarily a "NIS for NISs" but should also function as a "NIS of first resort" and a "NIS of last resort" for end users. NIS of first resort refers to activities such as helping a potential network user find a more localized contact who will assist with the process of becoming a network user. NIS of last resort refers to activities such as assisting a network user who has proceeded from more local to less local requests for help without resolving a problem or getting a question answered. In many cases, however, the NIS Manager(s) would work with network service providers who are closer to the end users.
Thus the provision of some of the services listed below might be accomplished by coordinating information resources and services provided by others. A coordinated, hierarchical set of information services should result from the collaboration of the NIS Manager(s) with (but not limited to) the mid-level and campus-level providers of network information services. Responders should seek to utilize such resources and services where possible rather than to duplicate them.
The following list is divided into three subareas: registration services, directory and database services, and information services.
The provider of registration services will function in accordance with the provisions of RFC 1174. As stated in RFC 1174, "[T]he Internet system has employed a central Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for the allocation and assignment of various numeric identifiers needed for the operation of the Internet. The IANA function is performed by the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. The IANA has the discretionary authority to delegate portions of this responsibility and, with respect to numeric network and autonomous system identifiers, has lodged this responsibility with an Internet Registry (IR)." Moreover, in cooperation with the IANA, the IR may create delegate registries to carry out registration services for specified domains.
The NIS Manager responsible for non-military registration services will function either as the IR or as a delegate registry authorized by the IR to provide non-military registration services. NSF, DISA, and other interested parties will determine which organization (the DISA NIC, the NSFNET NIS Manager, or another organization) will function as IR and which will function as a delegate registry.The NIS Manager responsible for non-military registration services will in any case be required to work with the DISA NIC to design and implement a transition plan that will minimize inconvenience to the networking community during and after the transition. Non-military internet registration services to be provided include the following:
Proposed directory implementations should utilize distributed database and other advanced technologies wherever practicable. This may place the NIS Manager(s) in a coordination role with respect to other organizations that have created and maintained relevant directories and databases. Procedures for creation and maintenance of proposed directories and databases should be clearly specified.
ii. institutions on the network and characteristics of their
iii. organizations accessible by function
iv. resources available on the network (e.g., computing
facilities, libraries, databases)
C. Desirable Database Services
i. databases of contributed materials
ii. databases of communications documents such as RFCs, FYIs,
IDs, and IENs
iii. databases maintained for other groups, possibly for fee
3. Information Services
Coordination services will involve all NSFNET NIS Manager organizations and must include the following:
ii) Outreach Services:
iii) Documentation Services:
IV. Questions about this solicitation
National Science Foundation Division of Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure 1800 G Street, N.W., Room 416 Washington, D.C. 20550 ATTN: G Strawn (NIS Inquiry)
Telephone, facsimile, and electronic mail questions will not be accepted.Substantive questions received and the NSF's answers to them will be sent to all solicitation recipients approximately fourteen (14) calendar days thereafter.
V. Proposal Submission Information
Proposals for the implementation of and operation as NIS Manager may be submitted by U.S. entities including academic institutions, not-for-profit or for-profit or-ganizations, or any combination thereof.
Proposers may include consortia of several organizations. Should an award be made to a consortium in response to this solicitation, that consortium must have a single lead organization, and the Principal Investigator (PI) must be an employee of that organization.
It is recommended that appropriate administrative officials of proposing organizations be familiar with the policies and procedures stated in the NSF Grant Policy Manual1 (GPM) which are applicable to NSF awards. If a proposal is recommended for an award, the NSF Division of Grants and Contracts will request certain organizational, management, and financial information from the submitting organizations. These requirements are described in Chapter III of the NSF GPM.
B. Key Personnel
For each award made, the individual designated as principal investigator/project director and other personnel deemed critical to the effort will be named in a key personnel clause which requires NSF approval prior to diversion or replacement. The principal investigator/project director will be the primary point of contact with NSF.
C. Proposal Submission and Due Date
Ten (10) copies of the proposal, including one copy bearing original signatures, should be mailed to:
Proposal Processing Unit - Room 223 Attn: Network Information Services Project, NSF 92-24 National Science Foundation 1800 G Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20550
Only one (1) copy of NSF Form 1225, Information About Principal Investigator/Project Director, should be sent, attached to the original signed proposal.
Proposals may also be submitted electronically. For information, contact the Electronic Proposal Submission Program Director, Division of Information Systems (DIS), via phone (202) 357-7439, or via electronic mail (email@example.com).
Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation must: (a) be received by NSF no later than Monday, May 18, 1992; (b) be postmarked no later than five (5) days prior to the deadline date; or (c) be sent via commercial overnight mail no later than two (2) days prior to the deadline date to be considered for award. Proposals submitted electronically will be dated when they enter the NSF system.
D. Rights to Proposal Information
A proposal that results in an NSF award will become part of the record of the transaction and will be available to the public on specific request. Information or material that NSF, after consultation with the awardee, determines to be of a privileged nature will be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law, including the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). Without assuming any liability for inadvertent disclosure, NSF will seek to limit dissemination of such information to its employees and, for purposes of evaluation of the proposal, to outside reviewers.
Accordingly, any privileged information contained in the proposal should be clearly marked or indicated (as with an asterisk or highlighter) and identified by a legend similar to the following: "Following is ((proprietary) or (specify)) information that (name of proposing organization) requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of evaluation."
E. Evaluation of Proposals
Proposals will be reviewed in accordance with the special criteria given below. Evaluation of proposals in response to this solicitation will be administered by the Division of Networking and Communications Research and Infrastructure of NSF (NSF/DNCRI).
The proposals will be reviewed by one or more merit review panels chosen by NSF. The merit review panels may include representatives of other federal agencies. At the discretion of NSF, site visits may also be conducted.
The proposal or proposals offering the greatest overall merit in meeting the requirements of the NIS Manager(s) Project will be determined in accordance with the general criteria and the following special criteria which are listed in descending order of importance:
VI. Award Information
Should one or more awards be made, it is contemplated that they will be Cooperative Agreements providing operational support for a period of five (5) years. It is expected that any resulting awards will be announced in the summer of 1992.
Following the award(s), the NIS Manager for Registration Services will be required to develop operations agreements with the DISA Internet Registration contractor (GSI) to insure that domestic and international Internet Registration continues to operate smoothly both during the transition and afterwards.
The progress, plans, and services of the NIS Manager(s) will be assessed annually. In particular, the quality and quantity of the services should be ascertainable annually during the period of the agreement by performance measures which the proposer must develop and adopt. Determination(s) may be made at any time about any additional, increased, decreased, or modified services within the general scope and context of the agreement and NSF may negotiate appropriate modification(s) to the award(s).
After 24 months of operation, the performance of the NIS Manager(s) will be externally reviewed. The review will determine if the NIS Manager(s) are meeting the established goals and objectives. The review will be used to determine whether NSF will continue to support the awardee(s) at the previously agreed to level.
Awards resulting from this solicitation are administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of GC-1, "Grant General Conditions", and CA-1, "Cooperative Agreement General Conditions". Copies of these documents are available at no cost from the NSF Forms and Publications Unit, via phone (202)357-7861, or via electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). More comprehensive information is contained in the NSF GPM.
VII. Contents of Proposal
The proposals should contain the following Sections A through S, plus Appendix A. (references to appendices are to those in GRESE brochure):
Appendix A. Curricula Vitae
Biographical information (limited to two pages) on the principal investigator and other key individuals from all organizations who will be directly involved in the management and operation of the project. Lists of publications for each individual should be limited to the ten most relevant.
1 The NSF Grant Policy Manual (NSF 88-47, July 1989) is for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Telephone (202)783-3288.
2 Upon completion of the project, a Final Project Report (NSF Form 98A), including the Part IV Summary, will be required. Applicants should review this form prior to proposal submission so that appropriate tracking mechanisms are included in the proposal plan to ensure that complete information will be available at the completion of the project.
This file last modified 3/26/96.