[Beowulf] 10GbE Adapter Market

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Mon Nov 18 17:17:15 PST 2013

Jim Lux

From: Bob Drzyzgula [mailto:bob at drzyzgula.org] 
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2013 4:35 PM
To: Lux, Jim (337C)
Cc: Ellis H. Wilson III; Beowulf List
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] 10GbE Adapter Market

FWIW, a couple of refinements to what's been discussed. COTS actually stands for "Commercially available Off The Shelf", often shortened to simply "Commercial Off The Shelf", and it is a legal term defined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, or FAR. See


>>>So that would imply that COTS as a term has been around since 1984 when the FAR was created out of the DAR and civil equivalents. 



Also, Jim's point about U.S. law giving the government the best price on all products is missing one essential point: The requirement only extends to products sold under a specific set of terms and conditions.

>>>Yes indeed..  It's that distinction in T&C that's important.  Relatively few commercial customers insist on the level of paper work inherent in most government procurements. There are a LOT of rules added over the years to address some problem or another that result in this: a lot is because of some previous "sharp practice" that gets a lot of notice.  A commercial entity can sort of take a generic cost benefit analysis approach and say "well, we get ripped off occasionally, but the cost of preventing the ripoff is greater than the amount we lose".  The government, in general, cannot. 

[BTW, that site is also a great place to find ballpark prices for items for which prices aren't typically advertised and you typically have to waste your time talking to a salesman. Not everything is in there, but if you want to get a quick idea of how much, say, a 3par storage array will cost, you can probably find someone listing it there]

>>> It sure is.  The other place to find pricing info is in state agency bid lists.

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