The load balancer procurement was undertaken and a supplier awarded. The time taken to carry out the review was under the initial budget but the cost budget is slightly over due to additional costs that were unanticipated in the bidder response for SFPs to connect the load balancers to the network routers. This was no fault of the bidders or the winning response and the cost overrun was modest with the additonal cost being less than £3.5K.
|Planned Deliverables (from Project Brief)||Delivered?|
|Procurement of new load balancers||Yes|
|Installation and acceptance testing of new load balancers||Yes|
|Success Criteria||Achieved?||Additional comments|
|Procurement and delivery of new load balancers within budget||Yes|
A small amount of additional expenditure was required to purchase SFPs to connect to the routers.
|Physical inspection on delivery shows no obvious damage||Yes|
|Capacity test to ensure that system can be configured with the number of virtual services required by the ITT.||Yes|
|Network tests will confirm that the proposed solution can function with the UoE network environment and has the core network functionality as described in the supplier's response||Yes|
UoE will construct relevant HTTP and HTTPS services and ensure that load balancing, SSL offload, certificate management, health check, IP packet rewriting, MySQL DB load-balancing, alternate content delivery and redirection functionality of supplier's responses
|Resilience tests to confirm the resiliency of the proposed solution by simulating failures of components and at appropriate network layers to confirm that the proposed solution provides the supplier's stated resiliency, including simulated complete failure of the proposed solution at one physical site and simulated failures at data link layer, physical layer and network layer.||Yes|
|Confirm that the management of the proposed solution corresponds to the supplier's response||Yes|
Analysis of Resource Usage:
Staff Usage Estimate: 50 days
Staff Usage Actual: 32.5 days
Staff Usage Variance: -35%
Other Resource Estimate: 150000 days
Other Resource Actual: 150444 days
Other Resource Variance: 0%
Explanation for variance:
The slight overspend on budget was due to an unanticipated cost for some additional SFPs to connect the load balancers to the routers.
Key Learning Points:
A major key learning point was to try and simplify the ITT questions as much as possible and to limit their number. The AWARD tool makes it difficult for both suppliers and reviewers to score when there are lots of questions. It is also essential to use language in the questions to get a response that can be easily scored on the actual quality of the underlying technical requirement and not on the quality of the response from the supplier. We had complaints from the bidders that the process to respond was too cumbersome due to the sheer number of requirements we had asked and the way that AWARD forces them to respond individually with uploaded documents for each question.
The preparation of the scoring schedule differed from previous tenders that the chair of the evaluation team had undertaken. This took some time to adjust to the model that needed to be used by the AWARD tool.
We had to replace one of the evaluation team at a late date because a member of staff had to be removed because of one of their family members gaining employment at one of the bidders during the tender process. We should bear this in mind for the future that we should always have someone on standby to step in if required.
One of the suppliers was discounted early on due to them not meeting the mandatory requirements. We need to be careful that the mandatory requirements do not unduly restrict otherwise good bids. In this case, it did help to reduce the burden of evaluation and was a fair response to their bid.
This project was to procure and install new load balancers. A future short project will be to migrate the live service from the old load balancers to the new ones and decommission and return the old load balancers to the suppliers.