City Hopes NSA’s Utah Data Center Will Attract Other Organizations

City officials in Bluffdale, Utah hope that the National Security Agency's new data center will be a motivating factor to bring additional businesses to the area, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Although the site was plagued by electrical issues before opening, officials are optimistic about the future of the facility, as well as its ability to draw other organizations to the city.

Currently, the area surrounding the NSA's Utah data center is mostly barren. According to the Tribune, the land near the facility is comprised of a former livestock pasture and rows of trees bordered by the highway. City Manager Mark Reid and Economic Development Director Grant Crowell told the news source that they anticipated the NSA's facility would be the first of many in the area.

The NSA's data center design compelled the city to construct a new water line to ensure the facility had sufficient resources nearby, the news source reported. The line also runs under a 270-acre area, which officials expect will become data center real estate in the near future.

The Tribune stated that in addition to the federal agency, other organizations will be attracted to the area for facility development, including government contractors and private data center businesses.

Besides the new water line, the area also boasts other data center sustainability benefits, including a pool of skilled IT professionals available to run the facilities, as well as relatively cheap electricity.

"Other data centers will recognize why [the NSA] came to Utah," Reid told the Tribune.

NSA Data Center Design Offers Motivation for Further Development
Although the NSA had to cancel its September opening ceremony due to electrical issues, TweakTown contributor Anthony Garreffa stated the agency is currently correcting the arc fault failures thought to be the source of the problems. Once it is up and running, the facility will utilize 65 megawatts of electricity to power processes capable of housing more than several exabytes of data.

In a blog post, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert said the Utah data center would have the capacity to process a yottabyte of information, making it the first facility in the world to reach this mark. Although the NSA stated it could not reveal the exact amount of data which would be stored for security reasons, it is clear this facility will have the highest level of data traffic than most others in existence.

Additionally, the data center design of the $1.5 billion facility included certain standards to ensure it would receive LEED Silver and Uptime Institute Tier III certification. The 1 million-square-foot data center is comprised of 100,000 square feet of data center space, with the remaining 900,000 square feet utilized to house technical support and administrators.

Additional Inquiries
The Tribune also stated that a number of private data center organizations have made inquiries about development in the area as well as expressed wishes to move the city. 

According to the news source, now that the area has sufficient water utilities, its existing electricity, sewer and fiber optic resources are enough to support several other facilities.

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