Early this past October, NASA celebrated the opening of its new Kennedy Data Center located (of course) at the famed Kennedy Space Center. Kennedy Space Center gets data face-lift with data center consolidation project. The new data center, which was designed and constructed in an effort to consolidate pre-existing centers and improve IT functioning on-site, will allow NASA to achieve part of its Center renovation and consolidation goals–which actually began three years ago, in 2012. The project, part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation initiative enacted by the government, is anticipated to cut energy costs and save funding for future space flights.

The new Kennedy Data Center is now located at the center of the Kennedy Space Center’s campus, and offers 16,000 square feet of new server space. Rather than simply add more IT resources to its arsenal, NASA actually plans to shrink down its data centers by consolidating five other legacy data centers down into this space. Amazingly, the five centers to be consolidated currently take up roughly 45,000 square feet; this means that the Kennedy Space Center is attempting a whopping 64.5% reduction in space used.

In order to achieve this, NASA’s new Kennedy Data Center is significantly more efficient, with an estimated three times the ability of the current legacy centers. With this consolidation, NASA hopes the center will be able to take on more workload in response to increased demand, and essentially “streamline” IT operations across a variety of Kennedy Space Center research efforts. This consolidation will also save the Kennedy Space Center campus that 45,000 square feet of physical space, which they will be able to use to support other Center operations. In addition, the center’s capabilities will be open to multiple NASA users.

This new facility is only a portion of planned revamps for the Kennedy Space Center campus; the center is also attempting to reduce redundancy in old buildings and increase available space in the central campus. In fact, the Kennedy Data Center is scheduled to take on the remaining duties of the current Central Instrumentation Facility, which is scheduled to be demolished sometime during the renovations. The demolition of this facility will net the Center’s central campus a massive 136,000 square feet of space, but at a somewhat bittersweet cost; the Central Instrumentation Facility had been originally built during the Apollo era, and had served as the main location for both instrumentation and data processing operations.

Currently, the newly constructed Kennedy Data Center building is home to several other NASA programs, including the Commercial Crew program, the Operations program, Ground System Development and other Kennedy Space Center technology and research projects. While the start of data consolidation is still pending, the Kennedy Data Center is currently undergoing review for LEED silver certification, having been originally built to meet the Tier II standard of the Uptime Institute.

Removing these older buildings, reducing the overall space used, improving data processing efficiency and updating to more modern construction standards will hopefully help NASA reduce its overall environmental footprint and bring them into the current age of environmentally-friendly operations.

Katrina specializes in server products with Rack Solutions leading the IT industry for custom racking design.