ESRL Global Systems Division
NOAA's Newest Computer Room
Construction is just wrapping up on NOAA's newest computer room which is housed at the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, CO. This computer center is managed by ESRL's Global Systems Division, and was built to handle the rigorous environmental and electrical demands of a new NOAA Research & Development high performance computer to be provided under a recently awarded contract with Raytheon Information Systems. This 2,060 square foot facility was built by St. Andrews Construction under a contract with the General Services Administration.
As NOAA began the process of a consolidated procurement for the next generation research and development supercomputer, the need for additional data center facilities became apparent. ESRL was approaching maximum capacity within its existing high-performance computer facilities, and in collaboration with NOAA's High Performance Computing and Communications Office, was exploring expansion of current resources which resulted in the construction of this new data center.
This new computer room allows NOAA to have continuous high-performance computing capability on existing legacy systems while upgrading to a more capable system. Modern data processing equipment requires more power and cooling within a robust environment, and this new NOAA data center addresses these issues very well.
The new facility is designed with a state-of-the-art ambient air cooling system provided by above and below floor cooling fans (see photos). This system is integrated into two rows of computer racks which create a single cold aisle. The room is also equipped with a state-of-the-art clean agent fire protection system and numerous sophisticated facility environment monitoring and control safe-guards. All of these features add up to a data center facility that is both highly reliable and resilient, to accommodate NOAA's high performance computing needs now and in the future. It will also enhance NOAA's ability to facilitate the efficient and timely delivery of products and services.
Name: Scott Nahman