US spooks to build 60 megawatt data center
What Federal budget crisis?
The Obama administration might have been wrestling mightily with a recalcitrant Republican Congress high on strong tea over the US government's fiscal 2012 budget, which had tens of billions of dollars in spending slashed, but the one thing that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that the National Security Agency needs a new data center weighing in at 60 megawatts.
According to declassified documents made available by the comptroller's office for the Department of Defense, the US government's fiscal 2012 budget includes $860.6m to build a high performance computing center at the NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters facility. That is the cost for the facility alone, not the cost of the servers, storage, and networking gear that will inhabit the data center.
The Fort Meade data center is in the planning and design phase right now, which costs $35m of the total budget, and will be paid for in two phases during construction in fiscal 2013 and 2014 when the construction is actually done in the facility, which is in the suburbs northeast of Washington DC.
The budget includes $567.8m for the primary facility, including modular shell buildings and raised floor for the data center) and then anti-terrorism hardening, fire protection, and force protection enhancements. The mechanical systems in the facility account for $118.4m of the budget, and the electrical systems for the 60 megawatt facility will cost $225m. Supporting facilities (meaning, for the humans) cost another $180.6m.
The NSA's Fort Meade headquarters
The NSA budget does not specify what kind of computing gear will be housed at the Fort Meade facility, other than it is "designed to support state-of-the-art high-performance computing devices and associated hardware architecture" and that the computing center areas have "depressed slab construction" with a floor load rating of around 600 pounds per square foot. The data center will use air-cooled and water-cooled equipment and will have computer room air handlers (CRAHs) and computer room air conditions (CRACs); all of the mechanical systems and air distribution systems will have backup.
The Department of Defense expects to award a construction contract for the facility by September 2012, with construction expected to start three months later and for the data center module to be completed by June 2014.
> "spooks" as you so quaintly call them. That word, btw, has racist connotations
Maybe in your language, but not in ours. I'll stop saying Spooks if you stop saying Fanny.
...here in the UK is commonly used to refer to spies, with no racists overtones.
I don't recall spooks ever being used in a racist way here although it may well have been. On the other hand, it was used in the past as a derogatory way to describe Spiritualists.
It may have overtones of racism in the USofA, but then a lot of words have different meanings in that version of english. I did snigger a bit the first time I heard "fanny pack"
Paris? Well, I'm sure she could burn through 65MW
@"60 megawatts" ... and ... $860.6m "cost for the facility alone, not the cost of the servers, storage, and networking gear that will inhabit the data center."
What the hell are they building?!
Lets put this into context. Only 25 of the top 500 super computers in the world need more than 1MW of power. e.g. http://www.top500.org/list/2010/11/100
The number 2 most powerful supercomputer (DOE/SC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory) only needs 7 megawatts of power, thats the most power usage of any super computer so far. The number 1 in china only needs 4 megawatts.
So what kind of monster supercomputer are they building?!
Plus this is for the NSA ... So what kind of Orwellian super computer master plan are they working on now!