The man and the story behind the National Security Agency's massive data centers.
He looks and sounds like a New York heavy. Hard hats and windbreakers are more his style than slacks and button-down shirts. He works at one of the three letter intelligence agencies and oversees construction of a $1.2 billion surveillance data center in Utah that is 15 times the size of MetLife Stadium, home to the New York Giants and Jets. Long Island native Harvey Davis, a top National Security Agency official, needs that commanding presence. His role is to supervise infrastructure construction worldwide for NSA, which is part of the Defense Department. That involves tending to logistics, military installations, as well as power, space and cooling for all NSA data centers.
In May, crews broke ground on a $792 million computing center at the agency's headquarters near Baltimore that will complement the Utah development. Together the Utah center and Maryland’s 28-acre computer farm span 228 acres—close to eight times the size of the Pentagon.
During a June interview with Government Executive, amid the recent uproar over leaked details of NSA’s espionage activities, Davis describes the 200-acre Utah facility as very transparent: “Only brick and mortar.” A data center just provides energy and chills machines, he says.
About 6,500 contractors, along with more than 150 Army Corps of Engineers and NSA workers, including some with special needs, are assigned to the project.