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James Bond Villain Data Center 103

jeet writes "Data centers are boring and NOCs are doubly so. But this one sure beats all of them. Found this video of a data center suited for james bond villain on Data Center Knowledge website. The facility is established in a hydrogen bomb safe bunker and has generators used in German submarines. The CEO takes you around and shows some other cool features."
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James Bond Villain Data Center

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  • More and more stories of data centers in random recycled locations like churches and stuff. Isn't cheaper to just build a building than to refurbish some of these locations?
    • by Leafheart ( 1120885 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @08:53AM (#27596237)

      Isn't cheaper to just build a building than to refurbish some of these locations?

      Since we have seen a lot of this refurbished locations, a smart guess would say 'no'.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:29AM (#27596565)

        They are leasing the bunker from FÃrsvarsmakten for 25k Swedish Kronor about $3k per month on a 25 year contract. So its quite cheap.

        A friend of mine handled the construction of this one, and is currently building another "bunker data center" for bahnhof.

        • Extreme locations.....

          Very interesting.... I worked for a freight company that specialized in realtime freight tracking in CA. during the early 90's that looked somewhat like site depicted in TFA.... the CEO was a retired submarine commander.... many of the execs were ex-submariners.

          The master DB and networking hub there ran on three large Amdahl systems and was floating on a massive array of .... ex-navy submarine batteries fed by a stunning array of AC->DC - AC converters... out back in the parki

    • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:01AM (#27596295) Homepage Journal

      It's usually not cheaper to demolish and build new.

      You have the cost of demo, construction, zoning issues, etc. If you can find a location that has many of the characteristics you need, you're usually better off. If you find a location that isn't suitable for much else, you can usually get it cheap.

      By the way, the guy in the video looked familiar. At first I thought all the network people looked and sounded the same. But it turns out he's Dean Nelson [], Senior Director Global Lab & Datacenter Design Services at Sun and founder of Data Center Pulse. I remember him from this data center video [].

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:50AM (#27596881)

        "It's usually not cheaper to demolish and build new."

        According to whom? I'm not sure why the mods currently have this post as +3 informative, but this is false.

        By and large, and usually on a case by case basis, this claim is false. It's difficult to make a sweeping claim either way, since there are many issues where people are forced to renovate when they want to build new which can skew the understanding and interpretation of the numbers both ways, but the general concensus is that building new from an empty lot, or building new after tearing down an existing structure, is cheaper. Mainly, because it's faster, and labor costs are a huge part of construction.

        It is far cheaper and better to take down and build new, esp. in residential buildings. You start the building from scratch with current materials and with full knowledge of the structure. You don't have to pay labor costs, which are vary but typically are 50% of the actual expense of work, for careful deconstruction that renovation often necessitates.

        Most people who renovate do so for one of three reasons. First, they cannot afford a full renovation, so they do it in stages, which is why there more money put into renovation than new construction the United States (which is also particularly striking given people do it themselves, so labor costs are saved which don't seem to be in these numbers, making the disparity between new and remodel even greater). The second is that the code literally forces people to. A lot of city reconstruction occurs before the city insists on keeping a sense of a neighborhood or look or for historical reasons. (I'm not bashing these reasons, just that they are often wholly separate from a safe and efficient structure--they can be interpreted to keep the riff raff aka "blight" from buying up cheap properties, keeping things condemned until some stable can take the property, for valid historical reasons, for limited growth, accelerating growth, etc.)

        The confusion often arises where people spend exorbitant amounts renovating in, say, the city. City locations, esp. high end areas, are limited properties; there are often few and far between when they become available, and there are no empty lots. People who desire to live in a particular area must buy an existing house and then strip it down in order to reconstruct the actual home they desire. They then run into zoning codes, which have mixed reasons for being there, often counter to the actual reason they were put in place. (Historical zoning and codes are good for places where people have a desire to live, such as Foggy Bottom and Georgetown in DC, but the same often impedes in a smaller west coast town which views itself as historical and tourist destination but ignores the fact that are a has been destination that no one visit or lives there because of the high crime).

        "You have the cost of demo, construction, zoning issues, etc. If you can find a location that has many of the characteristics you need, you're usually better off. If you find a location that isn't suitable for much else, you can usually get it cheap."

        Most of these arguments are *for* building new. For building new, there is no demo or renovation cost. Also, you have to be careful when you say zoning issues--some zoning issues force people into renovation even if new construction is better (which artificially inflates the renovation costs and number of renovations). Zoning is the new insidious "do it our way or not at all" that has gone beyond the safety of a building and keeping residential and commercial areas separate, to becoming the handcuffs of well-meaning but misguided city planners.

        Even if a structure already exists, the usual impediments to building new are the insistence of local codes to maintain a building's exterior, which necessitates renovation. These are artificial and really put in place by people who want to impede economic reconstruction of a neighborhood, but this is a complicated area with varying opinions.

        If you have doubt

        • by NeverVotedBush ( 1041088 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:10AM (#27597157)
          I don't think the external renovation of the bunker was an issue, though. Also, depending on what the place looked like before the renovation, it could have been basically like having the shell of a building already built for you. I would also guess that there was plenty of primary power and ventilation already in place as well - and depending on condition, could have equated to a huge savings in not having to redo/replace it.

          As you point out, a lot depends on the structure being renovated but in this case I doubt there was much in the way of demolition needed to prepare it for being a data center. It looks very open so they might have essentially only had to run cable trays, elevated floors, and walkways.

          Regardless of how we posit how much it cost or what would be the better approach, they deemed it economical to put their data center there.
        • by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:06AM (#27597995) Homepage

          By and large, and usually on a case by case basis, this claim is false. It's difficult to make a sweeping claim either way, since there are many issues

          So as I understand your argument,

          • In general,
          • Depending on circumstances,
          • And it may not always be true...

          This is a case where there is no "usually". It entirely depends on what you're doing and where you're doing it. Sometimes it's cheaper to build; sometimes it's cheaper to reuse. Trying to make an argument that one rule fits all is silly.

        • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @11:15AM (#27598103) Homepage Journal

          It is far cheaper and better to take down and build new, esp. in residential buildings. You start the building from scratch with current materials and with full knowledge of the structure. You don't have to pay labor costs, which are vary but typically are 50% of the actual expense of work, for careful deconstruction that renovation often necessitates.

          You really don't know what you're talking about.

          Let's take a residential example. In my area, a brand new 2 story home runs about $800k+.

          There are many 50's era capes and ranches that go for $400-$500k. A tear down and rebuild, from the foundation up will cost over $350k. If you just rip off the roof and build a full second story, redo the first floor, you're looking at around $200-250k and you can move in much quicker.

          Want to speed it up even more, they can rip off a roof and set in a modular second story addition in a day.

          The point is you have to know what you want to build, if you can find something close to that, that you can build on, you're going to save a lot more money than if you demo and start over.

          If you want to build a 40 room mansion, but you're starting from an 8 room house, you don't see the same cost benefit.

          With residential construction, you can usually live in the home through many remodeling projects, removing the expense of temporary housing.

          You also don't know crap about TOH. It's very rare that they demolish the whole house. The most they generally do is demo down to the framing, only where they have to, and build additions.

          The show is called "This Old House" not This New House so they try and preserve as much of it as possible.

          It would be cost prohibitive to recreate a lot of the original work, especially things like trim work that you can't even get these days. Look at the Brooklyn Brownstone project they recently did. They spent a lot to repair and refinish all that woodwork because redoing it all over to the exact look would be too expensive. What your normal tear down rebuild contractor would do is just replace it all with the 4" trim you get at Home Depot. All the charm of the home, and value, would be lost.

          They also didn't tear down the facade or the framing.

          You even seem to contradict yourself in some of the things you say.

          As for lofts, they were rezoned residential when manufacturing left the city. To tear them down and rebuild would have been too expensive. Instead they modified them. That was a lot cheaper and made the project feasible. In the beginning, these lofts were very cheap and not desirable but then became trendy and prices skyrocketed as more and more manufacturing left these areas and residential amenities came into the neighborhoods. I used to live in such a building.

      • by sukotto ( 122876 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @10:16AM (#27597243)

        It's usually not cheaper to demolish and build new.

        This is also true for software development in my experience. I've learned this through bitter experience.

    • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:06AM (#27596333) Homepage Journal

      Isn't cheaper to just build a building than to refurbish some of these locations?

      because hydrogen-bomb proof locations are so much cheaper to build yourself! Menards has a kits for sale I hear.

      • I can build you a hydrogen bomb-proof vest for a couple bucks. I'm sure a h-bomb proof data center would be just as easy, but catch is you'd have to be inside it when they drop the bomb.
    • Yes, and no (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:06AM (#27596335) Journal

      There are extra costs associated with refurbishing an existing location and the costs might be as high as building from scratch. There is however ONE important difference. Planning permissions. The old building is already there, nobody can complain about it being build anymore because it has already been build.

      For some locations there might even be restrictions on tearing it down.

      Constructing from new would also have the expense of first tearing the old stuff down. All in all, re-using a building is often very attractive.

      In this case, an old bunker is very expensive to build it again. The bunker is there, you either let it rot (WW2 bunkers are still standing beause they are WAY to expensive to tear down) or use it again. The costs wouldn't even be that high, it is a big concrete building, what extra costs are there compared to outfitting a newly build building?

    • by Divebus ( 860563 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:19AM (#27596439)

      Looks like a good place for TPB to set up and lock the door.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Look around in your own housing market to see the average price of a 'used' house (it's ~50k-150k around here). If really necessary, you'll have to do 25k in renovations coming to ~75k-175k. Then ask a contractor or architect to build you a new one. Just a small house here runs in the 200k (you have to buy the ground and pay the state, architect and contractors) and a larger house can cost 300-400k.

      • FWIW we're building a 400Sq Ft cottage. We own the land already.
        I really want to know where houses are selling under $100K

        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          Here in New York State (as in most northern provinces of the US) you can buy a 1500-2000 sqft house for ~60k. I live in a city as well. A 400 sqft. cottage (what we call a barn) the Amish will do for you under 10k.

        • by vonart ( 1033056 )
          I was in the market recently due to a planned relocation due to work. Northern VT had a good number of them well under 100k. There was a nice 3 bed/1 bath that I was looking into that they had selling for that same 60k.
    • They've built a glass bridge leading to a conference room floating unsupported above the main data centre itself. I somehow feel that being cheap was not on their agenda.

  • Does it have dime-a-dozen henchmen that attempt to stop you as you stop by to service your colo box?
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @08:43AM (#27596137)

    Where is hank scorpio's office?

  • Which reveals much more about the CEO. He's obviously very nervous about how much he spent building it. Still, it's worthy of some ill tempered sea bass.
  • by dFaust ( 546790 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @08:46AM (#27596167)
    I feel like there should've been sharks with lasers in there somewhere.
  • Obviously that is the place to be for all startups wishing to "take over the world."

    With or without the laser equipped sharks.

  • anywhere, somewhat tarnishes the James Bond image. And did the pond contain piranas ?
  • by colinrichardday ( 768814 ) <> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:01AM (#27596289)

    Bond: Surely you don't expect me to do a chain of thirty joins on tables with a quadrillion records each?

    Goldfinger: No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.

  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by dfdashh ( 1060546 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:02AM (#27596301)
    We've read about this particular data center before [], though we didn't have this video. The first link [] in TFA has layouts and other pictures. Very cool.
  • I dunno. (Score:5, Funny)

    by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:05AM (#27596323)
    I saw no cats.
  • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:16AM (#27596417) Homepage

    "But his one sure beats all of them."

    10 out of 10 Bond girls concur!

  • the villain's datacenter usually explodes when either a computer overloads, or someone unplugs the wrong circuitboard

  • @0:29 Stockholm, Sweden - April 20, 2009 ?
  • but does it have half-monkey half-pony monsters? Hungry wolves patrolling the grounds?

    Whadday mean, it's not inside a mountain? Color me "meh."

    Give me Skullcrusher Mountain* [] any day.

    *If you haven't yet, buy [] the song or the album. Jonathon Coulton's a genius and ought to be making more money than all of RIAA and its ass-ociated labels combined. And I like Spiff's videos [] for Coulton's music. Somehow, much of Jonathan's music seems to work very well as WoW machinima.

  • by miller60 ( 554835 ) * on Thursday April 16, 2009 @09:29AM (#27596589) Homepage
    We're featuring this video on Data Center Knowledge, but it was shot by Dean Nelson of Data Center Pulse [], a relatively new industry group focused on information-sharing between end users (vendors and consultants are excluded). DCP started last fall as a group on LinkedIn [], and also has a channel on YouTube [] with weekly webcasts and some other interesting videos. The group has more than 800 members already.
  • Great place to build a place to live too.

  • Looks like something right out of Golden Eye... Love it.
  • Apparently those German submarine generators aren't so hot as the server is currently down. I'll like to read TFA please.
  • .. filled with pretty pictures. [] We're using this hall since a few months back now. They're very solid, good setup. Very futuristic entrances (sliding doors and the whole shebang).
  • I must do some digging - I'm not sure it's quite willing to advertise itself so publicly (they're in general very discrete), but I know there's at least one datacenter in Switzerland built along the same lines. I just don't know if they have gone for the dramatic decoration as well (which is IMHO a good lot of fun).

    I rather like the idea of a self sustaining facility, but for a house. I just don't like the idea of several tonnes of rock above me..

  • Deep Crows []
  • I swear I've seen this posted here in the last 12 months.
  • if is doesn't have anti cruise systems (Tom Cruise not Cruise missile). lots of easily killed faceless henchmen in black uniforms and big rooms of people practicing marshal arts in ninja costumes it's not a James Bond villain datacenter.

    I didn't see a picture of one stinking deathray where are the tanks of sharks with fickin laser beams?

    unless its run by a loopy (possibly ex-nazi) scientist in a wheelchair with prosthetic limbs that do cool stuff like shoot poison gas. I am not impressed.

    Did they issue dema

  • Oh, sweet. Its last year already? Right on, I can totally make a killing on the stock market now.

    Last year's news is awesome.

  • That's funny, my friend and I were just talking about the ridiculous measures isps and telcos have to go through when building data centers. Take for example, this building []

    The exterior walls are precast concrete panels clad with pink-colored Swedish granite faces.

    It is often described as one of the most secure buildings in America, and was designed to be self-sufficient and protected from nuclear fallout for up to two weeks after a nuclear blast.

    I bet that would be more expensive to build new than use an existing bunker. Anyway, despite what the article says, I think the thing is an eye sore.

    • by fm6 ( 162816 )

      I don't think the Dr. Strangelove aspects of this building are at all typical for modern telco buildings. Recall that when AT&T built it, they were still a legal monopoly, and one way they justified their monopoly status was by touting how disaster resistant their network was.

      In this case, it's all a dog and pony show. All that fallout proofing would be useless against a direct hit, even with conventional weapons. And even in conventional warfare, communications centers are prime targets.

  • It's basically a bunker with plants. Probably so they can get people to work there.

    I used to work for a company that put computer installations in Cheyenne Mountain. Few people wanted to work inside the mountain. The USAF is not big on interior decoration.

  • it will fail? like all Bond Villains?

    The only thing that is more precarious then the life span of a Bond villain, is the life span of a Bond girl.

  • Bahnhof rules (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "Broadband operator Bahnhof has begun destroying the IP address details of its customers in an open and fully legal bid to undermine Sweden's new anti-file sharing laws." []

  • Don't be fooled... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, the facility is "cool". I was there a few weeks ago but other than that here are three BIG reasons not to host with them:

    1) Latency issues (we suspect over-sold with DSL)
    2) Non-24 hour access with very expensive remote hands (300EUR an hour)
    3) The CEO is a douche bag. You just going to have to trust me on this one.
  • Because you know the Germans make good stuff!

  • 1. underground bunker. Check 2. futuristic furniture. Check 3. case mod diesels. Check 4. matching orange jump suits for workers. ? where are the jump suits?

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin