NASA has officially opened a new data center at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday morning. At just 16,000 square feet this is not the largest facility in the area, but it successfully consolidates infrastructure from five different data centers and dozens of smaller server rooms and closets.
“The data center will support multiple activities – and we have a lot going on,” said Kelvin Manning, associate director of the Space Center.
The consolidation project began in 2012, as part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. The agency hopes to considerably cut its energy costs and invest the money it saves in space flight programs.
The Kennedy Space Center was originally built to support the Apollo manned Moon landing mission, and has been used to launch every NASA human space flight ever since.
Such projects rely on extensive IT infrastructure, which was previously distributed around the 200 square mile campus. The new data center in the Kennedy Industrial Area is meant to replace all existing IT facilities and support the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, the Commercial Crew Program and the Launch Services Program. The facility was built to Tier II standards and is LEED Silver certified.
According to the NASA blog, the new data center replaces approximately 45,000 square feet of ‘legacy’ IT estate. Vanessa Stromer, director of IT and Communications Services at Kennedy, said that, once fully occupied, the facility will be three times more efficient than the data centers it replaced.
As an additional benefit, the move will enable NASA to demolish some of the older buildings on campus, like the Apollo-era Central Instrumentation Facility.
The consolidation project is part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, launched by the US Office of Management and Budget in February 2010. The initiative requires government agencies to improve the efficiency of their infrastructure in order to reduce costs.
NASA previously said that its new data center facility will pay for itself out of energy and operations savings in approximately eight years.