The NSA Needs Power

By Deane Barker on July 2, 2009

Spies like us: NSA to build huge facility in Utah: The NSA is building a new datacenter in Utah.  Why Utah?  Simple: power.

It will also require at least 65 megawatts of power — about the same amount used by every home in Salt Lake City combined. A separate power substation will have to be built at Camp Williams to sustain that demand, […]

[…] In 2006, the Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA — Baltimore Gas & Electric’s biggest customer — had maxed out the local grid and could not bring online several supercomputers it needed to expand its operations.

So, essentially, they’ve run Maryland out of power.  Electricity is cheap in Utah, and data centers are insanely power-intensive.  Read this NY Times article from a couple weeks ago for more on this.  Within a couple years, server purchase costs get dwarfed by the cost required to power them.

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