New NASA Data Center Optimizes Space and Performance
NASA recently unveiled the new 16,000 square foot Kennedy Data Center in Florida. Designed to comply with 2010 and 2012 initiatives to create data space synergies, the Kennedy Data Center replaces a total of 5 other facilities, which occupied 45,000 square feet. Using just 35% of the space, the Kennedy Data Center is able to manage the entire workload previously handled by all of the other facilities combined. In addition, the center has been designed to easily take on future increased workloads and efficiently handle significant growth and demand.
As America’s space agency looks to the future through far more high tech lenses than the past, demands for reliable and fast data processing and storage will increase exponentially. In anticipation of that future, NASA designed the Kennedy Data Center to be three times more efficient than those centers it replaces. Beyond that data efficiency, NASA will also be able to reclaim the space occupied by prior data centers, so that those spaces can be better utilized for future projects.
NASA will not only regain 45,000 square feet from data centers, it will also be able to tear down the 136,000 square foot Central Instrumentation Facility as well. Buildings that are currently being designed to inhabit those reclaimed spaces will be able to earn certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. Though the mission of NASA entails further outer space explorations, the space agency is also striving to be conscious stewards of efficient and renewable resources here on earth.
The third efficiency created by the new Kennedy Data Center, after IT consolidation and building space reclamation, is in staffing. With a far more compact facility that is able to work with far heightened efficiency, the Kennedy Data Center will place far fewer demands on the IT and administrative workforce. As more automation is available, workforce demands will continue to recede in coming years.
In the end, the data center efficiencies, reclamation of space to be redesigned as green buildings and dedicated to other priorities, and lessened staffing demands all lead to far fewer government dollars needed to keep NASA operational and on target to meet organizational goals for the future. The space agency still looks to the stars while achieving big wins back on earth.