As its current data collection makes headlines, the National Security Agency is continuing to expand its data storage and processing capabilities. The agency recently broke ground on an $860 million data center at Fort Meade, Maryland that will span more than 600,000 square feet, including 70,000 square feet of technical space.
Last month the NSA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began building the High Performance Computing Center-2, an NSA-run facility that will be located on base at Fort Meade, which is home to much of the agency's existing data center operations. The data center will be supported by 60 megawatts of power capacity, and will use both air-cooled and liquid-cooled equipment.
The NSA is already building a massive data center in Utah, investing up to $1.5 billion in a project that will feature up to 1 million square feet of facilities.
The construction at Fort Meade will see investment of $400 million in fiscal 2013 and $431 million in fiscal 2014. Up to 6,000 workers will be involved in the construction and development phase, the NSA said.
Scheduled for completion in 2016, the center's mission will be to protect national security networks and providing U.S. authorities with intelligence and warnings about cyber threats. The project is part of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), which the White House launched in 2008 to provide a unified approach to securing America's digital infrastructure.
"With this new state-of-the-art computing center, Maryland and the NSA will continue to protect America from cyber terrorists, spies, and thugs," said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland, Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "Maryland is the global epicenter of cybersecurity, leading the way in finding cyber-tech solutions that make our country safer, and creating cyber-warrior jobs that make our economy stronger."