Not so mega: Blueprints of NSA Utah data center reveal far smaller facility

Petabytes not zetabytes... but large enough to spy on LA.

NSA Utah data center blueprint obtained by Forbes.


Forbes obtained the blueprints (above) for the NSA's one million square foot data storage facility being build in Utah, and due to open in September.

Kashmir Hill reports that experts have said it's likely not as formidable as some prior estimates: Blueprints Of NSA's Ridiculously Expensive Data Center In Utah Suggest It Holds Less Info Than Thought - Forbes

Brewster Kahle is the engineering genius behind the Internet Archive, which is kind of like the NSA for the public Web… Kahle estimates that a space of that size could hold 10,000 racks of servers (assuming each rack takes up 10 square feet). “One of these racks cost about $100,000,” says Kahle. “So we are talking $1 billion in machines.”

… If Kahle’s estimations and assumptions are correct, the facility could hold up to 12,000 petabytes, or 12 exabytes – which is a lot of information(!) – but is not of the scale previously reported.

The data center’s capacity as calculated by Kahle would only allow the NSA to create Beyonce-style archives for the 13 million people living in the Los Angeles metro area.

Foremski's Take: Those numbers about LA are too close to be a coincidence. It's clear that NSA is targeting Hollywood and surrounding areas, which host large Gay and Iranian populations.

As a byproduct of its investigation, the NSA will be able to boast having the best library of high def digital movies.