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World War II bunkers to house cloud data centres in Canada

Mon 5 Oct 2015

World War II bunker Argentia, Canada

Former Second World War bunkers in the Newfoundland town of Argentia, Canada, will become the home of a new data centre project led by national storage firm Teslagistics.

The Canadian company described the bomb-proof bunkers as ideal host buildings for its data centre facilities, referring to customer demand for both online and physical security.

Dating back around 70 years, the bunkers are reinforced with concrete and steel and feature 4ft-thick walls and 2.5ft-thick roofs. Some of the shelters offer multiple rooms, one of which contained a working hospital during the War.

Teslagistic’s Chief Operating Officer, Allan Meiusi, commented at an industrial showcase last month, that the centres were in ‘pristine’ condition and will host cloud services, rather than ‘websites and blogs,’ to support the region’s resource-based economy. He explained that the province collects ‘terabytes and terabytes’ of data related to ocean and marine research – which demands advanced analytics and processing power.

Meisui added that the data servers would be cooled using a ‘cost-effective’ and ‘green’ mineral oil solution. He confirmed that preliminary construction would begin by next year, with a public display expected by February.

Although data centres housed in war bunkers remain a pretty rare find, Swedish ISP Bahnhof has also established its innovative Pionen White Mountains data centre under 30 metres of granite rock in a former nuclear bunker and Cold War command centre. The Swedish project took over two years to complete, requiring 141,000 cubic feet of extra space to be blasted into the rock to accommodate backup generators and server racks.

Before it was shut down in 2008, a further military-themed data centre resided in the North Sea on a former anti-aircraft deck used in World War II. The facility was used by organisations and individuals wanting to keep their data away from the reach of authorities, with the Pirate Bay once showing interest in its acquisition.

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