Maryland Data Center Complex Created For US Social Security Administration

The U.S. Social Security Administration announced in late January that it is creating a massive Maryland data center, which it will leverage to consolidate its core IT operations.

The new facility, known as the National Support Center, offers 300,000 square feet of available space and is Tier III certified. The site is located near Baltimore and will house all of the SSA's computing and bandwidth. The agency plans to utilize virtualization here to eliminate hundreds of the physical servers currently in use, as well as increase flexibility and energy efficiency.

A variety of data center sustainability features were included in the site, including high density computing, hot aisle containment, Energy Star-certified appliances, convergent monitoring and solar power.

"We'll monitor power utilization down to branch circuits, improving load management and control," said Bill Zielinski, SSA CIO and deputy commissioner for system. "We expect the NSC to save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs."

The agency plans to manage the use of power by employing LED lights, a dedicated substation and heating and cooling systems that could reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent. Zielinski said that once the facility's PUE rating is measured, it will be used as a baseline to measure the effectiveness of any future improvements.

The Maryland data center's construction was completed three months ahead of schedule, allowing equipment and software to be installed earlier than expected. A conversion to a virtual-tape library was completed in October 2014 and the installation of the facility's networking and storage infrastructure began in November. The infrastructure is expected to be fully installed by March, after which production environments will be migrated. The center is expected to be up and running by August 2015. 

Brought to you by WiredRE, the nation's leading cloud, colocation, and data center advisory firm.