National Security

NSA's $1.5 billion data center delayed

data center

Power surges with no clear fix led NSA to delay the opening of a major data center in Utah. (Stock image)

The opening of the National Security Agency's $1.5 billion Utah Data Center has been delayed for a year, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing project documents and current and former officials.

The 1 million square foot data center, rumored to be the largest on Earth -- though its exact storage capacity is classified -- was most recently scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.

Instead, a series of 10 electrical surges over the past 13 months has curtailed the NSA's computing effort at the Bluffdale, Utah, facility south of Salt Lake City. The cause of the meltdowns remains unclear, and none of the proposed fixes are guaranteed to solve it, an unnamed Utah official told the Wall Street Journal.

The surges have added to the Utah Data Center's price tag, causing several hundred thousand dollars' worth of damage to equipment, and likely adds to the NSA's internal list of recent problems that include top-secret surveillance documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden.

Ironically, the Utah Data Center was set to open three months after Snowden disclosed its likely contents: intercepted phone records, e-mails, Internet traffic and a slew of satellite and other telecommunications data.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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