Considering going underground or out to sea to solve data security issues?
"Yes, there are a lot of safety benefits to using an old mine ... but there's also the fact that [SubTropolis] has inexpensive power, strong fiber connectivity and a cheaper build-out option than purpose-built above-ground spaces," said Jim deVenny, an independent consultant on the SubTropolis project for Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development.
There are wet mines, with water dripping down the walls. Those would never meet data center requirements the way dry mines in locations with low water tables can. "This underground concept wouldn't work in Florida, for example," said Dan Golding, vice president of data center operations at Iron Mountain Inc.
"There are a lot of data centers, and a lot of old mines. That doesn't mean they should always go together," said Golding's colleague, Nick Salimbene, business development director at Iron Mountain.
Unique locations are not enough to make a data center live up to its customers' expectations, as evidenced by the troubles experienced at Sealand's HavenCo colocation facility in the ocean. The required electrical and mechanical infrastructure and network connectivity also prevent security problems and other data center issues.
"The site has to meet your data center needs first and foremost ... A poorly designed data center could be anywhere, just like a well-built data center can be in a thought-out and strategically located historic mine," said Jim Masterson, CEO of LightEdge Solutions Inc.
For more on solving data security issues:
Find resources to help you implement a data security policy in the data center
Learn about data security in on-premises vs. virtual data centers
Data center security tips for working with contractors
Read the latest definitions for new data center terms in our glossary