Social Security Buys Land for Data Center

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has bought property in Frederick County, Maryland for a new data center project, apparently ending a protracted site selection process.

The SSA closed on land in the county on Aug. 23, according to a letter from the Frederick County Board of Commissioners. The 400,000 square foot facility will be built near an existing data center for Fannie Mae.

The land buy comes more than two years after $500 million in stimulus funding was earmarked to build a new data center for the Social Security Administration. The project  is significantly behind schedule – the site selection phase of the project was initially scheduled to be completed in January 2010 – and won’t be operational before 2016. In the meantime, the agency is trying to extend the life of a problem-plagued 30-year-old facility in Woodlawn, Maryland.

The SSA recently completed a data center in North Carolina to serve as a backup facility for the Woodlawn site.  The agency had previously used a commercial data center as its backup.

In February, SSA Deputy Commissioner for Systems  Kelly Croft, cited the “dire need” for a new data center.  “Without a long-term replacement, the NCC will deteriorate to the point that a major failure to the building systems could jeopardize our ability to handle our increasing workloads without interruption,” Croft reported to Congress.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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