Government to build $1.5B cybersecurity data center

NSA will lead the center to be constructed near Salt Lake City

The federal government will spend an estimated $1.5 billion to build a new data center in Utah to support intelligence and defense agencies’ cybersecurity programs, according to state and federal officials.

The National Security Agency will run the center that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said would cost $1.5 billion to build and employ 4,000 to 5,000 people statewide. The facility will be built at the Utah National Guard’s Camp Williams, near Salt Lake City.

Glenn Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, announced the project Oct. 23 in Utah and he was joined by elected officials from the state. “The new data center we are announcing today will support the intelligence community’s mission in providing foreign intelligence about cybersecurity threats,” Gaffney said.

Gaffney also said the center would also be used for information assurance efforts related to Defense Department networks and to provide technical assistance for the Homeland Security Department as it works to secure the government’s civilian networks.

“By better understanding the threat, we will also learn valuable lessons that will assist the private sector, dot-com and dot-org, in securing their own networks,” Gaffney said. “This data center will be a critical asset in each of these missions and we will accomplish this in full compliance with the U.S. Constitution and federal law and while observing strict guidelines that protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people.”

However, Gaffney declined to provide specifics about what kind of work would be performed at the center. “I can say that it is—the reason why we are doing the center is because of the deep level of technical expertise that’s needed to understand the nature of the threats,” he added.

There will be an industry day for the project Nov. 5 in Salt Lake City, according to a notice published on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site by the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District. The corps estimated the facility will be a million square feet, of which 100,000 will be data center space and 900,000 would be technical support and administrative space.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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Reader comments

Fri, Apr 2, 2010 Roger Utah

It's always fun to hear the nay sayers and watch them line up. To even think that Utah is not a mini silicon valley just shows the lack of knowledge and misinformation the nay sayer has. Putting anything in California is a scary thought. Let's not forget the Falcon and the Snowman. Cost of living couldn't be better. While all of the states are suffering through this current economic downturn, guess which state isn't?

Wed, Jan 27, 2010

There is enough people qualified for any tech position in UTAH!!!!!!!!!

Mon, Nov 16, 2009 Beau Backus Virginia

Surprised to see such waste. The 9 story "Blue Cube" in Sunnyvale, CA, which used to control most of our nation's satellites, is empty from a BRAC and slated to be just "given away" to the City of Sunnyvale. The Blue Cube would be a perfect location with most all the requirements in place - including security and a lot of really top notch computer experts nearby!

Tue, Nov 3, 2009 Sam Waite Oklahoma

Correct about recruiting to this deep desert location, which is about as inviting a garden spot as Tonapah Nevada in the 1980's. The USAF had to fly the techies to Tonapah and other sites for free from Reno, Virginia City, Las Vegas and from three locations in California. The only worse place to ask techies to go is to a high tax rate socialist state like Maryland.

Tue, Nov 3, 2009 Sam Waite Oklahoma

The facility may be $1.5B to construct and integrate but the allied infrastructure that Lehi UT does not have will cost the taxpayers an additional $2B or so to engineer and install. This site is what 40 miles from Hill AFB and the DISA DECC where all the bandwidth currently resides. This site will need four times the infrastructure that the entire Hill AFB area currently has.

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