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The supplier of servers on Elbrus for the Ministry of Internal Affairs brought down the price of the 860 millionth contract by more than 2 times

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Денис Воейков

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On the 860-millionth purchase of servers on Russian processors from the Elbrus line by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the winner of the auction knocked down the initial price of the contract by more than two times. However, judging by the fact that its only competitor sank in the auction by almost the same amount, we can not talk about insane dumping, but about a very sound real calculation.

Cheaper servers on Elbrus

As CNews found out, the Ministry of Internal Affairs managed to save more than half of the budget allocated for them on servers built on the basis of Elbrus processors. This follows from the information posted on the public procurement website.

The Ministry announced a tender for the purchase of the mentioned 120 servers on August 30, 2022 in the format of an electronic auction. The starting price of the contract was set at 864.4 million rubles. Applications from applicants were accepted until September 15. The auction took place on September 16th.

As a result of the auction, the winner’s offer amounted to 422.7 million rubles. Thus, the initial price of the contract was reduced by 441.7 million rubles. or 51%.

The winner was the company “Norsi-trans”, known for the development of “hardware” on Russian chips. Another bidder, whose name is not presented in public documents, unsuccessfully tried to compete with her at the auction. The amount of his proposal was at the level of 427 million rubles.

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The deadline for the execution of the contract, which implies not only the supply of hardware, but also its installation with commissioning, is November 21, 2022.

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The purpose of the servers in the TOR is not spelled out. Its direct recipient will be the Main Information and Analytical Center (GIAC) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Moscow. True, the customer reserves the right to change the place of delivery within the Central Federal District or the North-Western Federal District, with the exception of the Kaliningrad Region.

Mysterious “discount”

Such a significant reduction in the price at the auction looks somewhat strange. On the one hand, on September 20, 2022, CNews also wrote about a more significant “dumping” on the server tender of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – more than four times. However, that problematic protracted purchase was initially launched in July, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, according to a well-informed CNews source, formed the initial maximum price of the contract in April.

At that moment, the official exchange rate of the dollar was significantly higher than it is now (during April it fell from 83 to 71 rubles per $1). At the same time, according to the source, the business then reinsured itself and proceeded from the approximate “real” rate of 120 rubles. for $1.

Moreover, at some point the tender was reformatted following the consideration of a complaint against it by the FAS. The Antimonopoly Service, having studied the appeal of the Santross company, ordered the Ministry of Internal Affairs to exclude the prohibition on the admission of foreign equipment from the purchase requirements. In the understanding of the CNews source, the absence of such a requirement can “reduce the cost” of the purchase by almost half, but the customer, having fulfilled the FAS order, did not reduce the NMCC.

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The new tender started much later against the backdrop of a fairly stable dollar exchange rate;

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At the time of publication of this material, representatives of Norsi-trans, which won the auction, could not explain to CNews what exactly allowed the company to make such a “discount”.

At the same time, one should not forget that Norsi-Trans’s competitor at the auction brought down the NMCC by almost the same amount, which suggests that the winner’s offer is still quite marketable.

Parameters of the purchased hardware

As follows from the terms of reference, the Ministry of Internal Affairs needed two-unit four-processor Rack servers manufactured no earlier than 2022.

The fact that the ministry is aiming specifically at the chips from the Elbrus line, developed by the MCST company, is indicated by an indication that the processors involved in the servers must support the instruction set architecture of the same name.

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It is noted that each processor must include at least eight cores, and its clock frequency must be at least 1.2 GHz. These characteristics are suitable for Elbrus-8C chips (frequency up to 1.3 GHz) and Elbrus-8SV (frequency up to 1.5 GHz). The situation with interrupted deliveries of the direct manufacturer of these processors, the Taiwanese factory TSMC, most likely led to the fact that the Ministry of Internal Affairs will be supplied with equipment based on less advanced and older Elbrus-8C.

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The total amount of installed RAM in the server must be at least 256 GB. The server also assumes the installation of two SSDs of the same type with 240 GB each and 12 SSDs of the second type with 7680 GB each.

The TOR states that each server must be supplied with at least two power cables with C13-C14 connectors (IEC 60320), at least three Ethernet UTP cables of category 5 or higher with 8P8C connectors no shorter than 5 m, at least two multimode optical cables with LC-LC connectors are not shorter than 5 m.

The pre-installed operating system must be included in the register of Russian software under the Ministry of Digital Development. Note that in this case, the lack of an indication of a specific vendor is quite unusual for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, because the Ministry uses AstraLinux of the Astra group as a priority.

Denis Voeikov

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