PACE A Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment

January 29, 2020

PACE Procurement Update and Schedule

Filed under: Uncategorized — Semir Sarajlic @ 7:38 pm

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware from our prior communications and recent issue of our PACE Newsletter, the PACE team has been quite busy.  We’ve deployed the Hive cluster – a state of the art resource funded by NSF,  we continue to expand our team to provide an even higher level of service to our community, and we are preparing the CODA data center to receive research workloads migrated from the Rich data center.  We will be following up with you on this latest point very soon. Today, we are reaching out to inform you about the PACE purchasing schedule for the remainder of FY20 and provide an update on how the recent changes in procurement requirements have impacted our timelines, as I’m sure you have seen in your departments as well.

First, the situation with procurement.  The sizable orders we are placing on behalf of the faculty have come under increased scrutiny.  This added complexity has resulted in much more time devoted to compliance, and the flexibility that we once enjoyed is no longer achievable.  More significantly, each order we place is now requiring a competitive bid process. As a result, our first order of the year, FY20-Phase1, has been considerably delayed, and is still in the midst of a bid process.  We have started a second order, FY20-Phase2, in parallel to address situations of urgent need and expiring funds. We are making preparations to begin the bid process for this order shortly. An important point to note is that purchases of PACE storage are not affected.  Storage can be added as needed via request to

Given the extended time that is required to process orders, we have time for only one more order before the year-end deadlines are upon us.  We will accept letters of intent to participate in FY20-Phase3 from now through February 20, 2020.  We will need complete specifications, budgets, account numbers, etc. by February 27, 2020.  Please see the schedule below for further milestones.  This rapidly approaching deadline is necessary for us to have sufficient ability to process this order in time to use FY20 funds.  Due to the bidding process, we will have reduced ability for configuration changes once after the “actionable requests” period. By extension, we also have reduced ability to precisely communicate costs in advance.  We will continue to provide budgetary estimates, and final costs will be communicated after bids are awarded.

Please know that we are doing everything possible to best advocate for the research community and navigate the best way through these difficulties.


February 20 Intent to participate in FY20-Phase3 due to
February 27 All details due to PACE (configuration, quantity, not-to-exceed budget, account number, financial contact, queue name)
April 22 Anticipated date to award bid
April 29 Anticipated date to finalize quote with selected vendor
May 6 Exact pricing communicated to faculty, all formal approvals received
May 8 Requisition entered into Workday
May 22 GT-Procurement issues purchase order to vendor
July 31 Vendor completes hardware installation and handover to PACE
August 28 PACE completes acceptance testing, resources become ready for research


To view the published schedule or for more information, visit or email

Going forward, the PACE Newsletter will be published quarterly at

Best Regards,

– The PACE Team


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