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GCN : July 2013
[BrieFing] The National Security Agency s data gathering operations are generating a lot of debate among security and privacy proponents, but one this is sure: all that data will have some place to go, and NSA will have the capacity for it. NSA is a few months away from beginning operations at a massive $1.2 billion code-breaking and data analysis data center in Utah, and it recently broke ground on another new center in Mary- land. The agency s Utah Data Center at the National Guard s Camp Williams 26 miles south of Salt Lake City is a 1 million square-foot-plus complex, where high-performance computers alone will ll 100,000 square feet, National Public Radio reported. And the center s large footprint won t just be physical. According to informa- tion posted by NSA, the center s storage capacity will be measured in zettabytes. A former NSA technical director told NPR put the number at 5 zettabytes. A zettabyte is roughly 1 trillion gigabytes, or about 250 billion DVDs. That s the kind of capacity the center, codenamed Bumblehive, will have. In terms of square footage, the Utah center, expected to be completed in October, will be the world s third largest data center, according to rankings in Forbes. It will trail only the 2.2 million sq. ft. Switch SuperNAP in Las Vegas and the super-sized 6.3 million sq. ft. Range International Information Hub in Lang- fang, China. In addition to the 100,000 sq. ft. mission-critical data center, the com- plex includes water treatment facilities, power substations, a chiller plant, vehicle inspection facility, visitor control center, canine kennel, 60 diesel-fueled emergen- cy standby generators and a fuel facility to ensure three days of backup power, according to the NSA. It s expected to be complete in October. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground in April on the High Performance Computing Center-2 at Fort Meade, Md., as part of the part of the administration s 2008 Compre- hensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, Data Center Knowledge reported. The $860 million Fort Meade facil- ity, expected to be completed in 2016, will be roughly half the size of the Utah center, covering about 600,000 square feet, with 70,000 square feet of technical space, Data Center Knowledge said. Fort Meade already hosts much of the NSA s data center operations and is home to the U.S. Cyber Command. And high-performance data crunching has always been part of NSA s game. Infor- mationWeek points out that the agency bought the rst Cray supercomputer in 1976.• Why NSA will have room for all that data it's collecting BY KEVIN MCCANEY GCN JULY 2013 • GCN.COM 7 Organizations making plans for big data are interested in approaches that o er less expensive storage and processing options as well as tools to improve data management, a survey of senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies, federal agen- cies and business and technology firms by New Vantage Partners shows. The survey of C-level executives, enterprise function heads and data program leaders includ- ed respondents from the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, the Health and Human Services Department and the Social Security Administration. High-capacity, inexpensive storage High-performance, inexpensive processing power High-velocity data stream processing Data integration and quality capabilities Relational database acceleration/scale Unstructured text management and search Other 60% 71% 31% 69% 45% 60% 5%