NSA’s power- and money-sucking datacenter buildout continues
New budget docs reveal that the NSA is building a large new datacenter in Utah so that it can inhale more of your e-mail traffic. No word yet on how much it will pay for the large lidless eye wreathed in flame that will tower over the new facility.
Jon Stokes - July 6, 2009
A set of congressional budget documents reveals that the NSA plans to spend almost $1.8 billion over the next few years building a massive datacenter at Fort Williams in Utah. The docs describe the first part of a multi-phase construction project, which is slated to start next year. This first phase (PDF) involves developing infrastructure for the one million square foot center, infrastructure that includes 65MW of electrical power distribution, basic plumbing and drainage, and security and access control.
Power is apparently one of the key reasons that the NSA is looking to branch out from its massive Fort Meade facility and set up datacenters in other locations. The Salt Lake Tribune, which appears to have been first to the story, reports that there are two large power corridors that pass through Camp Williams, so the NSA will focus on hooking into those in the first phase of the project.
The Baltimore Sun ran a story in 2006, well before work started on this new facility, about the strain placed by the Fort Meade facility on Baltimore’s power grid. (The Sun link is broken, but this Slashdot link still works.) The NSA was allegedly in danger of overloading the grid, so it was taking various measures to reduce datacenter power consumption.
Design work on the new center apparently started in November 2008, according to one document, and the NSA is targeting June 2010 to actually start work on the new facility.