Feeds

NSA plans massive, 65MW, $2bn data center in Utah

Yes, Utah

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The ultra-secretive National Security Agency plans to build a 1-million-square-foot data center in Utah as it seeks to decentralize its computing resources and tap regions with ample supplies of lower-cost electricity.

When completed, the facility will require at least 65 megawatts of power and cost $1.93bn, according to news reports. The 120-acre data center will be located in Utah's Camp Williams, which borders Salt Lake and Tooele counties. Two major power corridors already run through the spot, a major reason the NSA chose it.

The plans help demonstrate how power is emerging as one of the biggest costs in building and running today's data centers. During an initial building phase with a budget of $181m, $52m will be spent in preparatory electrical work, including connecting the two corridors. Later phases will include $340m in electrical work.

The Utah facility will be the NSA's third major data center. In 2006, the Baltimore Sun reported the agency's Fort Meade location maxed out the capacity of the Baltimore area power grid, preventing the installation of new supercomputers that had been planned. In 2007, the NSA announced plans to build a second data center in San Antonio, Texas. The agency is expanding existing intelligence-collection facilities in the UK's North Yorkshire, as well.

The supercomputers will be part of the NSA's signal intelligence program, whose mission is to "gain a decisive information advantage for the nation and our allies under all circumstances," according to The Salt Lake Tribune, which cited Congressional documents. Additional coverage is here, and here.

The articles came around the same time The Washington Post reported that the Obama administration will proceed with a Bush-era plan to use NSA assistance is screening government computer traffic on private-sector networks. The plan is controversial because of the NSA's involvement in warrantless wiretapping of US citizens.

The program will scrutinize only data traveling to or from government systems, but it has provoked debate within the US Department of Homeland Security because of uncertainty about whether private data can be shielded from unauthorized scrutiny. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.