Data Farming At Utah Data Center, With Five Zettabytes Of Storage, Hard To Wrap Your Brain Around

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency’s massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet. The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.The Utah Data Center is a data farm that will begin harvesting emails, phone records, text messages and other electronic data in September.The estimated power of those computing resources in Utah is so massive it requires use of a little-known unit of storage space: the zettabyte. Cisco quantifies a zettabyte as the amount of data that would fill 250 billion DVDs. That much power generates so much heat that the computers will fry without 1.5 million gallons of cooling water a day.”They would have plenty of space with five zettabytes to store at least something on the order of 100 years worth of the worldwide communications, phones and emails and stuff like that,” Binney asserts, “and then have plenty of space left over to do any kind of parallel processing to try to break codes.”

Five zettabytes of storage, hard to wrap your brain around…

zettabyte

 

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