HPE inks $2 billion high-performance computing deal with the NSA

HPE will provide scalable on-premises computing to the NSA using Greenlake

HPE has signed a $2 billion computing deal with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to provide high-performance computing (HPC) services. 

The agreement, which spans 10 years, will involve HPE providing the secretive intelligence agency with on-premises cloud computing services via its Greenlake offering. Greenlake, launched in December 2020, offers high-performance computing as a service through on-premises or co-location offerings. 

The NSA system will go live in 2022 using a combination of HPE Apollo and ProLiant servers. It won't run on the Agency's premises, though. Instead, HPE will build and manage the entire system for the NSA at a data center provided by QTS Realty Trust

Information on the NSA workloads that will run on Greenlake is sparse, but HPE said it would handle "complex data needs," including deep learning, which uses artificial neural networks to find patterns in large amounts of data. 

The Agency has long been a heavy data user in its mission to gather foreign intelligence and other programs that controversially directed its domestic surveillance efforts. 

Before whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the extent of its mass surveillance program, it began building a controversial Utah data center capable of processing exabytes of data, drawing the ire of local politicians. It finished that facility in 2014. 

At launch, HPE said Greenlake would accelerate the deployment of HPC projects by up to 75% and cut capital expenditure by up to 40%. 

The NSA has been busy commissioning new computing contracts in the past month. In early August, the NSA awarded a $10 billion cloud contract to AWS, which Microsoft immediately appealed. 

HP shares jumped 1.5% upon the deal's announcement. 

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