Although the National Security Agency (NSA)’s Utah Data Center had a ribbon-cutting in late May, it wasn’t the official opening of the massive data facility. The center located in Bluffdale, just over 20 miles from Salt Lake City, is expected to open its doors — at least to a very select group with the appropriate security clearances — this fall.
But the Salt Lake City Tribune has been keeping tabs on the latest developments of the data center being constructed in its back yard. Here are a few stats and facts about the upcoming facility:
- Project cost: around $1.5 billion
- Size: 1 million square feet. 100,000 square feet will compose four data halls with data-storage servers. 900,000 square feet will serve for technical and administrative support staff,which is expected to be less than 200 employees.
- Why Utah?: Lots of water for cooling massive servers, low utility rates, workforce and low potential for extreme weather-related disasters. There’s also room for expansion.
- Energy use: 65 megawatts of electricity continuously
- Water use: up to 1.7 million gallons a day
- Computer capabilities: Cray XC30 Supercomputers will serve the facility, running up to 1 million Intel Xenon core processors at the same time as fast as 100 petaflops. SLT.com described one petaflop as about one thousand trillion calculations per second. This would put the system as three times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputer.
- Storage: Estimates come in around the thousands of zettabytes or yottabytes. The military has estimated, as a comparative example, that its entire network storage exceeds exabytes and possibly yottabytes.
The facility has a projected completion date of September 2013.
Read more details about the project and how recent leaks about the NSA’s classified information collection program could someday relate to the new facility in the Salt Lake Tribune’s full article.
This story has been updated to correct the number of gallons speculated to be used by the Utah Data Center from 17 million gallons to 1.7 million gallons.