Taking a Closer Look at the NSA’s Data Center

Taking a Closer Look at the NSA’s Data Center

Among organizations that utilize data centers, the National Security Agency (NSA) is one of the more robust. Currently, the NSA is building a 2 billion facility in Bluffdale, Utah that will be operational in September 2013. 

Data centers are the foundation of any communications and information storage operation. The Utah installation (codenamed Bumblehive) will be, to date, the largest center of its type in the nation. It will be 1 million square feet – 100,000 square feet of which will be used for the data center itself. The rest will be utilized for administrative and technical support of the data center. Its purpose is to be the first national and comprehensive cyber-security center.

Because of the massive undertaking and what is required to run such an installation, the best practices of the NSA’s Bumblehive are worth studying for any size data center. Its precautions and measures may seem like overkill for smaller enterprises, but placing added emphasis can signal where focus most needs to be. The rapid growth of the world’s online presence necessitates improving on and utilizing these concepts in any growing enterprise.

Robust physical security measures: A $10 million antiterrorism program is in place, including a fence capable of stopping a 15,000-pound vehicle, biometric security and a visitor control center. While a system of this magnitude might not be necessary for all enterprises, security is an important feature that will give customers peace of mind.

Internal support systems: The entire Bumblehive site is able to sustain itself. Backup measures are necessary to have in place, because losing the sensitive information stored within a data center could be catastrophic to a company.

Reliable power: The power for this operation will come from its own substation, which will supply the necessary 65-megawatts, along with the capability to run itself on generators for up to three days. Without a reliable power system in place, a dependable data center is impossible to run. 

Remember, amid the many call center solutions, software and options out on the market, it’s important to also learn about some data center best practices.

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