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UK Servers Humming In Former Nuclear Bunker 95

JournalistGuy writes: "The Independent wrote today about firms moving their hardware underground into a cold war nuclear bunker. Apparently they're worried about theft by criminals and attacks from anarchists." I wonder what's now become of the U.S.'s Y2K command center -- wish that would go on Ebay. One of those abandoned missile silos would make a nice hosting site, too.
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UK Servers Humming In Former Nuclear Bunker

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Trying cacheing it on the server. I know it might be illegal in some cases but not everybody can connect to Web sites clear accross the globe. I had to reload the thing three times before I got the logo. I never did get the story.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "I wonder what's now become of the U.S.'s Y2K command center" Well for starters, IIRC, it wasn't a nice bunker deal. It was some office space in DC. They did spend $50 Million on it, and it had nice flat panel screens all over the place. I seem to remember reading something about the same space was converted by the GSA to be used by the new administration's transistion team. Someone back me up here... Hello?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Canadian government put one up for sale. The problem is that the only serious bid came from none other than the Hell's Angels! They eventually turned it into a museum. []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aren't you talking about the same bank that had a major server-crash last weekend due to power failure?

    I'm not sure if it's the same one but from what i've heard this bank's first and second power generators failed and thheir entire server-farm went down! It took them more then 30hours (a lot for a bank!!) to get them alle up again. Some servers had crashed and not all backups (on tapes i hear) worked properly.

    That didn't sound like a very secure site to me!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    They hide their servers in a nuclear bunker to protect them from anarchists, but they still run IIS because "Microsoft is the industry standard".

    Heads up guys: anarchists have computers too.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    not a silo.

    Actualy, I'd guess it's a 'regional seat of government'

    So it would make a very good server facility. The one nearest London is now a museum, so if this one is similar, it has everything you need. The London one is built into a hill, so there wouldn't be a problem with water leaks. (They basicaly removed a small hill, built the bunker, and then put the hill back). It's got deep-level wires going to useful telecoms places and a big microwave dish on top, so in prinicple connectivity should be good.

    It's overkill of course, but you can never have too much overkill.

    (I visited the London one as I was driving in the essex coutryside when I found a sign saying 'Secret Nuclear Bunker', and I had to follow it. Someone had a good sense of humour)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the article... "This isn't paranoia or fantasy, this is the future," said Dr Ian Angell, professor of information systems at the London School of Economics and author of The New Barbarian Manifesto. "There are sophisticated anti-capitalists out there who feel a great deal of resentment against the business world. These are the new Luddites and, given half a chance, they would smash the machine to pieces."

    Has anybody read this guy? Is he actually trying to talk about script kiddies here (who, the last time I looked, were the #1 enemy of a public box) or is he on about something else? I mean, yes, there is definitly an anti-corporate movement, especially in Europe (witness the "anti Mc-Globalization" protests, etc), but who does he think folks worry more about their servers getting hit by?
  • It's overkill of course, but you can never have too much overkill.
    You just made my day :)

    ::gets buried screaming under a pile of Offtopics::

  • This, and I guess the similar setup in the Sealand [] are all fine as far as the physical security of the systems is concerned.
    However, as far as the protection of the servers is concerned, shouldn't they be worried more about the network security? After all, what good is is to lock the server in a nuclear bunker and then forget about keeping up to date with software patches?


  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:57AM (#161145)
    The Command and Control complexes would be good for data warehousing and other secure storage. Metal/pressure rated concreate about 60 feet down, with emergency escape route and it's isolated inside another structure so blasts and earthquakes won't disrupt it too much.

    But silos wouldn't be. Most of the old silos in the US and Former Soviet Republics had thier lids removed for a spell (18 monthes) I think so that spy sats and "Open Sky" recon planes could fly over and make sure there were no missiles in there. The Russian flights over the US were conducted by Polish registered EC-135s and E-8s (Boeing 707s). Then the silos were blown up.

    Some of the old silos (Titan IIs, and Minuteman I & IIs) were de-militarized before the START I treaty called for the measures listed above.

    Some of the posters talked about the silos being below the water table. In western South Dakota, where I lived half a mile from a Minuteman II (that's 3 150 kiloton warheads and at least 5 Soviet warheads aimed at it) the watertable was at 330 feet down. Alot deeper than the silo was.

    Of course your milage might vary on water table...but in the Dakotas and eastern Wyoming...those silos and Command and Control centers should be nice and dry.

  • sounds a bit like Neal Stephenson's cryptonomicon (except for the UK government's tendency to leave their subjects with no privicy whatsoever :( ).

    The book is good, btw.
  • I was informed that economic and anarchistic terrorist attacks were at least one of the considerations my employer (a managed hosting provider) had taken into account. I visited one of our farms not too long ago and they had all redundant systems, including connectivity, different sources of power (dual power lines, UPSes, marine diesel generators), A/C and fire suppression. The building is also rated to be resistant to a non-direct nuclear strike. (But if everyone's dead, why do you need a web site anyways?)
  • Banks will be interested in high-security facilities. Crypto-companies. A computer that generates ssl certificates.

    Or companies that have activities that attract protestors (terrorist bombing attacks being the ultimate form of protest).

    Virtu secure webhosting [] in the Netherlands is setting up a similar facility in the vault of a bank. Great building to visit.
    (I'm a satisfied customer :)
    #endif /* SHAMELESS_PLUG */

  • Could anyone be kindly enough to post the text of the article if they can get get through thank you
  • Thank you
  • Little wonder y'all don't get to carry firearms. You'd all end up slaughtering each other worse than the Americans do!

    Probably a good thing your bobbies are now allowed to pack heat. I can't imagine they had much of a chance of competing against your average hooligan without one!

  • by trb ( 8509 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @08:02AM (#161152)
    This is the "keep all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket" approach. The article mentioned co-location only in passing, but I think that's a wiser focus. Geographic mirroring [] can protect systems from hostile forces and other surprises, more sensibly than a bunker can.
  • Or my dream home:
  • by ansible ( 9585 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @07:56AM (#161154) Journal

    If I was an anarchist, I wouldn't bother with the computer center itself. I'd just attack the fiber optic cables running to it.

    What good is the world's most secure data center if you can't talk to it?

  • The Talcot mountain Observitory in CT is built on top of a missle silo. what always gets me is seeing the location of these things. I am surprised that you could purchase them because most that I have known of are filled in and capped with concrete.
  • I've read the same thing. Many of the available silos have been essentially abandoned since they were built in the late 50s or early 60s. The water damage and vandalism is a big problem. I'm sure there's a probably a buttload of environmental problems -- asbestos, fuel leaks from generators, god knows what else.

    There are some success stories of some of the less damaged ones getting converted, but I think a lot of them are pretty trashed from neglect.

    I'm wondering if it might not be cheaper to build your own bunker from scratch than to buy a government one in dubious condition. You'd get what you want, as you want it with fewer gotchas. Most civilian bunkers need to resist much less severe threats than a silo anyway, since presumably the activities of a civilian bunker are only meaningful if there is a civilian population to service..
  • One of the quoted reasons is the fact that terrorism was, thanks to Irish terrorism and others, far more of a threat to banks and institutions in the UK. Just look at the "work" of Irish terrorists over the last 25 years, according to the BBC []

    I worked for a major investment bank in London, and we suffered a couple of very real security threats (to the extent of having sniffer dogs running around our feet as we worked) - in each case we were ready to "invoke contingency", and move trading operations to our backup data centre, some miles away (thankfully it never actually happened for real, but we did a number of tests, and were ready).

    Whilst the costs of such an installation would clearly be high, there is a definate need for such offerings, and I suspect we'll see them increase in number, especially with the activities of the "Real IRA" recently.

  • by Neon Spiral Injector ( 21234 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:33AM (#161158)
    I've seen several specials on the old silos on TV. I've thought about how cool it would be to live in one. But just about every show I see mentions how they leak water.

    When I was at ISPCon in Orlando last year I was talking to a guy who said he knew someone who had bought one. He said, yes, they do leak, and pointed out, of course they do, they are below the water table.

    That is a lot of basement sealer. I chuckled to myself, thinking about those basement sealing scams, where the people call your house and ask if your basement leaks, and then offer to come over for a no obligation inspection. If I lived in one of those leaky silos, I might just have to invite them over, just to get the estimate.

  • They'd probably mistake my 1U server for a laptop and lose it...
  • Wow, this is a great idea... you wouldn't have to worry about data corruption from Cosmic Rays. Who needs ECC when you have a nuke bunker?
  • The transistion team was in the same building, but the old Y2K center was just an excuse for the FBI to build a command and control center of its own. It has now been taken over by the NISB which over sees "internet security" too bad they just suck at there job as the GAO found. Really, it just sits there for FBI to do what ever they want with, like running big investigation and such. Really should just be demolished.
  • Not really. It is quite dangerous. You said so yourself:

    Except for airborne particles, asbestos is mostly not a risk. Stabilize the asbestos somehow and there's no problem.

    However, your mistake happened when you said, "it's not hard to stabilize it," which is completely false.

    Have you ever seen aspestos before? It looks like fiberglass insulation. Like such insulation, it deterorates with age. Thus, it becomes airborn. There is no way to 'stabalize' it without moisture, removal, and cleansing of the area.

    As far as the dust is concerned, it doesn't just cause cancer. It can cause many other things. As fiberglass insulation, it can inflame skin, etc. However, it's a carcegenic. Like lead pipes or pain - dangerous to have around.

    Know your facts before you post, please, Mr. Anon.


  • ... not to mention the Pentagon. You get a large enough nuke fired up and burning hard.... *g*

    Shoo! Leave me alone! It's 5:12 in the morning, for crying out loud...


  • Neither does the average American. Your point?

    The idea is that the potential of a firearm can deter a potential offender. Which is more likely to be violated: a woman getting into a car with an American Rifle Association sticker on her window, or a woman getting into a car with a PETA sticker? (provided the violator saw the stickers, ) the PETA woman, of course. No manwants to risk having their pills shot off.


  • I guess not all the silos leak. There is a company in my town (Data Vault) that provides offsite data storage using the old NIKE missile bunkers. These were just short range costal defense weapons, so the silos aren't as deep as an ICBM bunker :)

    Free Database Hosting for Developers []

  • Canada's Cold War Bunker [] is now a museum and concert venue!

    Check out the Gift Shop: Buy a CD recorded at the CBC studios in the Diefenbunker!

  • I honestly misread the headline 2 times as:
    "UK Serves Hummers In Former Nuclear Bunker."

    I'll keep what my thoughts on that matter were to myself, thank you.


  • I can think of a region in Virginia that, if vaporised, would put a significant hurt on the net.

    [hint: AOL, PSI, NSI, and a couple of there closest friends are within spitting distance of each other.]

  • Anyone looking for a tour of an actual abandoned missle silo can look here:

    Done by ordinary folks, these people actually broke into an old silo in 1995, photographed the entire place, and published the whole thing on the web. Of course, they were also brought up on felony charges for tresspassing and where convicted, but hey, all for art, right?
  • It is done all the time, it is called a "sump pump" and just about every house has one.
  • by Ukab the Great ( 87152 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @06:18AM (#161171)
    Now instead of using crowbars are molotov cocktails, the thieves and anarchists will use ICBM's.
  • The water leaking in and flooding the place (through seeping walls, half-open missle doors or what have you) isn't what bothers me. The potential for radiation contamination does, however. Someone has already posted a link to the now-infamous Abandoned Missle Base VR Tour []. I suggest people take the time to go and read it. It is very neat (I have an affinity for exploring old buildings/etc, they provide a neat window into the past). At one point not long after "entering" the VR tour you will see the author's comment that even though there were lots of ways for things (wildlife, people) to get in, there didn't seem to be ANYTHING living down there (spiders, rats, etc). That is just a little creepy, to me. The person who explored the missle site (and got caught doing so) also remarked on the immense piles of asbestos laying around the place, the stagnant flooded water and the sharp pieces of rusted metal waiting to cut you and give you tetnus (or more). Not exactly a healthy place to be poking around.

    I can see how this place MIGHT be okay if a huge amount of money was sunk into it for reconditioning; if you pump out all the water, seal the walls, decontaminate (radiation AND asbestos), remove all the rusted metal, remove all the abandoned/vandalized/destroyed/obsolete equipment, scrape the lead-based paint off the walls, repaint it, repair the spring-mounted floors (to absorb the shock of nuclear blast), put lighting in and in general spend an exorbiant amount of cash you could have something that would serve passably well as a hidey-hole for a group of "survivalists". But the rooms in these places don't seem very large, and they weren't meant to be... they were meant to protect the missle crew in the event of nuclear attack long enough to let them launch their missles in a counterstrike. No thought was given beyond that point, and the design shows. I would NOT want to live in there, and frankly I wouldn't want to put all my eggs in one basket by hosting all my machines there without having some sort of redundant backup located somewhere else geographically. If you're going to spend the money to have machines placed there, you must have enough money to have a redundant site, I would think....

    Final analysis: As a data center it's high on the novelty scale, but on the usability factor (cost of implementing/maintaining versus actual usefulness/probability your work is justified) it's mighty low. As a home? No thanks. I can think of better ways to spend half a million dollars (minimum) on my house.

    -Da cat

  • I could see the bunker being converted to a data warehouse. Only a few people would be needed to make sure that the servers stay online and secured. As for the issue of water seepage, I would design the layout of the server farm so that none of the servers would be sitting on the floor, and have a plan for a company to come in on a regular basis to pump the water out should there be any.
  • When I was a launch officer pulling alerts in Montana we talked about a site where the water table had flooded a Minuteman halfway up the missile. When they pulled it out, dried it out and took it to Vandenburg, it lit right off.

    Course, if they had tried it in situ things might have been a lot different, the igniters were probably dry, but the throat and combustion chambers were filled.

    Do not try this at home

  • One of those abandoned missile silos would make a nice hosting site, too. Yeah. So CmdrTaco and CowboyNeal can finaly keep away from all those groupies they keep attracting. Too bad the Beatles didn't have one for a sound stage.
  • Yeah ... just DoS the inbound routers and well you just toasted a bunch of high paying companies. ... I wonder what kinds of DoS DDoS defences they have ... firewall won't cut it.

    I hear that Asta Networks [] have product that will stop DoS attacks.

    -Da Imp

  • Yeah but if you DoS the transaction the data doesn't get to the server ... seems to me you need a secure location AND redudant/flood proof pipes.
  • Actualy, I'd guess it's a 'regional seat of government' Nope, it was what it says it was: a radar station. RSGs are different animals that are rather less useful for this application. Radar stations, OTOH, need lots of space for kit, just like we do.
  • OK, so I'm seeing a lot of comments that entirely miss the point.

    The Bunker is about protecting the security of data, not withstanding nuclear attacks.

    It doesn't leak. Neither water nor data.

    Yeah, if the Internet connections get cut, then we're not connected to the Internet. What's new? How does this affect the security of the data?

    And as for overkill, what can I say? Should we skim a few feet off the concrete? Shave down the steel doors? Destroy a few redundant aircon units? What would you suggest?

    If anyone has any sensible points, I'd be happy to address them.

  • with a pair of scissors and a shovel. *snip* bye-bye internet connection.

    Seriously tho, what's the point of this excess? A nuclear {war, blast} would take out their Internet providers or a good majority of the internet itself. heh, if I was itching to start a nuclear war, I'd drop a two-KT nuke on this bunker-turned-hosting-firm just to destroy whatever data some poor schmuck paid out the eye for.

    This reminds me of a previous unfunny April Fool's post 'Slashdot During War?' or something to that effect.

    Tho I do kind of whatever what would happen to the Internet (originally created to survive a nuclear war) if some largescale nuclear/no-nukes war were to strike ... nevermind that if that did happen I'd be dead or have bigger/more important things on my mind than the state of the Internet.

  • I don't know the motivations, but it seems a little bit like overkill to me.. Now perhaps if my bank did this...


  • by dazed-n-confused ( 140724 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:51AM (#161182)
    Top firms retreat into bunker to ward off anarchists
    By Steve Boggan
    11 June 2001

    Some of Britain's biggest companies are running their internet operations on systems installed in a 300ft-deep nuclear blast-proof bunker to protect customers from violent anti-capitalist campaigners.

    They are renting space in hermetically sealed rooms capable of withstanding a one Kiloton explosion, electro-magnetic "pulse bombs", electronic eavesdropping and chemical and biological warfare.

    Hundreds of companies have already installed systems in The Bunker formerly known as RAF Ash, outside Sandwich in Kent and dozens more are understood to be queuing up for space. They have been driven underground by the IRA bombings of Canary Wharf and Bishopsgate in London and, increasingly, by concerns over the operations of anarchists behind sophisticated protests such as the May Day anti-capitalist rallies.

    At stake is billions of pounds worth of business conducted over the internet. Companies are concerned that while electronic security using increasingly sophisticated encryption codes is gradually making customers feel more confident about conducting credit-card transactions over the internet, the physical side of e-business is still vulnerable. The fear is that servers, the small electronic boxes through which customer traffic and business transactions on the web are channelled, could be physically vulnerable to theft, damage or sabotage.

    For companies conducting business solely over the internet, the loss of a server could be catastrophic; while offline there can be no sales and no income, and customers will go elsewhere. Records, too, are vulnerable to attack, hacking or simple damage, resulting in shut-downs that could cost even traditional companies millions of pounds.

    Now organisations such as Scottish Widows, BTCellnet, Richer Sounds and the Bank Automated Clearance System which deals with inter-bank transactions have acted, putting their e-business and confidential dealings out of harm's way behind guards, barbed wire, dogs, electronic detection systems, millions of tons of earth, 4m of concrete, pressurised air locks and rows of steel doors up to 18in thick.

    "This isn't paranoia or fantasy, this is the future," said Dr Ian Angell, professor of information systems at the London School of Economics and author of The New Barbarian Manifesto. "There are sophisticated anti-capitalists out there who feel a great deal of resentment against the business world. These are the new Luddites and, given half a chance, they would smash the machine to pieces."

    Behind The Bunker is a company called AL Digital Communications, established by the brothers Adam and Ben Laurie and Dominic Hawken. Ben Laurie is already revered in the computing world as the man who co-wrote Apache-SSL, perhaps the best-known encryption technology available over the internet a tool used by some anti-capitalists when arranging demonstrations.

    Three years ago, AL Digital heard that an RAF facility with state-of-the art electronics and communications systems was to be auctioned off. RAF Ash was one of four underground command and control centres at the heart of Britain's national air defence system. As part of a cost-cutting exercise, it was to be mothballed only seven years after undergoing a complete overhaul and upgrade.

    The AL Digital team made a sealed bid still secret, according to the Ministry of Defence and the 60,000sq ft bunker with 18 acres of land was theirs. "The facility was designed to withstand a nuclear attack without disrupting RAF computer systems," Dominic Hawken said. "Their computers were about radar, but there is little difference between that and hosting a website. Some people have argued that our defences are a little over the top, but they're here now what can we do, shave a little off the walls?"

    To enter, visitors must pass through security checks before being allowed through layer after layer of restricted access; of the 49 employees on site, only a handful are allowed into the bowels of the structure. Here, one finds doors that take two people to open and concrete grottoes called Faraday cages that act as electric buffers between the hostile outside and the environmentally pure, air-filtered inside.

    There are three back-up power systems big enough to fire up a small town when busy, the National Grid buys energy from The Bunker's four turbines. There are dedicated telecommunications lines installed for the RAF but now available to customers at between £250 a month for a single server on a shelf, to "several millions" of pounds a year for the kind of huge space being rented by a large and unnamed international computer company already inside The Bunker.

    There is also a fire station, vast underground fuel and water tanks and an array of cameras on corridors and servers you can even have a camera pointed permanently at your little box to make sure no one tampers with it.

    Mr Hawken added: "Co-location is now the buzzword; if your records are destroyed, you want at least one back-up in another place so your business can keep operating. There are many reasons why companies are choosing the safety of a nuclear bunker, but I think the anti-capitalist threat is the most compelling.

    "That whole thing is about bringing down large companies and the weakest link is to get to where their information is stored and destroy it. Because of encryption, they can no longer interfere with data, so they may try to damage the hardware that physically contains or controls it. For companies operating over the internet, that means targeting their servers."

    None of The Bunker's customers contacted by The Independent would comment for security reasons. However, one, a large multinational computer corporation, said: "The Bunker provides us with a level of physical security and reliability unobtainable in the US. Experience taught us that digital security unaccompanied by physical security is worthless. The Bunker provides us with the highest levels of both."

    Other companies said they simply felt they could relax knowing their internet operations were physically safe from attack.

    Professor Angell said: "You have to understand. Future wars will be fought by capitalists and anti-capitalists as society polarises. When that happens, control of information will be as important as control of territory used to be in conventional conflicts. If you can stop your enemy from destroying your information, then you have a good chance of winning the war."
  • Are you even ALLOWED to have a PhD if you've seen Johnny Mnemonic?
  • by duvel ( 173522 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:36AM (#161184) Homepage
    There's nothing new in 'going underground' to enforce the safety of a computerpark. My company - a large european bank - has had similar facilities for the last decade. To be exact: we have one computer centre that is built intirely under the ground, and a second (a complete copy of the first) that sits on the second floor of another building. Both sites are complete copies, so if one goes down, the idea is that the other should be able to take over all the work. To give an idea of the scrutiny which we use to make sure that the two sites are fully redundant: The sites are connected only by fiber (no copper) to make sure that for instance a lightning blast cannot be propagated through the network from one site to the other.

    Having a site on a second floor protects against floods. Having an underground site should protect against plane crashes (although we haven't really tested that, perhaps we should ask that Richard Branson guy if he could help us out with that).

    I just mean to say: if my company could have reused an existing safe cellar for their underground location, they probably would have too. That has got to be cheaper than what we're doing now.

  • Apparently they're worried about theft by criminals and attacks from anarchists.

    Are attacks by Anarchists really a major threat? Admittedly, an Anarchist did start WWI but they haven't been doing much since then. There was that Sex Pistols Song in the late 70s. But I don't think the Sex Pistols were technically Anarchists. They were just angry and really really drunk.

  • One of those abandoned missile silos would make a nice hosting site, too.

    No, I got a better idea. Three words: underground secret laboratory. That would rock!

  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @05:02AM (#161187) Journal
    By coincidence, today's (11.june.2001) User Friendly comic [] has a similar item about a company needing more office space.

    makes sense to me.


    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • Let's see... their fiber exits the bunker riiiiight... aha, here!

    *snip, snip*

    *dusts off hands*

    Cheers, old beans! Your servers are secure, but now they're a bunch of introverts!
  • by demon93 ( 197176 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:42AM (#161189) Journal
    There is already at least one silo for sale in the US... Silohome []
  • Are they checking the physical cases as they go in? One small charge in the power supply could wipe out a lot of servers and infrastructure in closed quarters. . .

    One would only have to come up with the asking price for hosting the server/bomb. A few kg charge could fit in a power supply and that would be it. If they are not filtering their air for certain contaminents you could use bio warfare on them.

    Also what about data lines? Cutting them off at the source would be virtually impossible, but are they going to put all the routers in the uk in these things? Why not just take out the switching station up the road from this place ? The cost of rebuilding all those connects physically would be enourmous.

  • Now they'll have to worry about someone cutting off their power

    They make their own.

    their data lines

    Yeah, us Brits are so dumb we didn't think of that one. This is a MILITARY bunker not some "lets keep the bureaucrats safe" hole. Communications are paramount.

    their cable TV

    Now you're trolling deliberately

    their phones

    See above

    and they'll also have to worry about Islamic militants hired to work on the plumbing and flooding them out

    Or maybe the contractors who built the thing would have been checked out by MoD before they were allowed within 5 miles of the place...

    Modding this "Insightful" is like calling Houston dry.
  • Heh, these guys had the ingenious idea of using one such silo as an LSD Lab. Shame they were caught [] by the US Gov't. Imagine how insanely high you could get off an LSD tab the size of a missile...
  • Actually, looking at the pictures - I like the one of the Power Distribution equipment that has a large red sign on which states:

    "Work or test on this apparatus must be authorised by the authorised person"

    Who is the authorised person?


  • by Steve Cox ( 207680 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:55AM (#161194)
    The Bunker has its website at []. It has a number of good photos of the place.


  • I particularly liked the pessimistic quote they had from Dr Ian Angell (professor of information systems at the London School of Economics) ...

    "You have to understand. Future wars will be fought by capitalists and anti-capitalists as society polarises. When that happens, control of information will be as important as control of territory used to be in conventional conflicts."

    grim predictions coming from across the pond...

  • There is a sizable amount of empty cooled machine room space in there... There seems to be a sizable amount of steaming hot space there [] as well.

    Features [] you don't ordinarily expect to find in a bunker (well, maybe in Dr. Strangelove's bunker): Time honored services of soaking, scotch sprays and Swiss showers continue to be offered, and a wide selection of new treatments and programs now enhance every guest's desires. Quiet areas for use before and after services, and private, personal changing rooms, make the experience one to always remember... and return to again and again.
  • Being an ex-USAF guy, I was wont to refer to electronic devices of all sorts as "hummers". Hey! It's a standard Air Force term. Especially when coupled with "cosmic", when it then refers to all sorts of airborne electronic wizardry that keeps the Saddam and his ilk in line.

    Imagine my embarassment when a female co-worker at IBM revealed the *other* meaning.

  • Underground bunkers in an earthquake zone.
  • At least they wouldn't have to worry much about air conditioning expenses in an underground bunker. With all the power problems in California, maybe they should start building underground there.
  • And just think of the money you could make from selling that on the black market!

    Certainly enough to get a whole silo sealed against leakage. :-D
  • Anti-Capitalists? They want to break into my machine! Those anarchist bastards!

    Why does not believing in capitalism mean that those people are going to break into a server?


  • First let me point out that this is rather old news. There have been articles about this sort of thing, floating around for several years

    That said, it's still an interesting application for military installalations that would otherwise fall into neglect and disrepair (or cost their respective governments, big $$$ to maintain). These sorts of facilities are perfectly suited to such a use. Power requirements, independant generators, climate control, all are already in place, (as I presume the article pointed out, although when I tried to read it it had already been /.'ed).

    Also, The fear-mongering mentioned by previous posters is nothing more than good business, and let's face it, there are some applications where the physical invulnerability of the facilities is a big attraction as well, but my point here is the majority of customers will be atracted to this sort of facility, not by the 6 feet of concrete surrounding their servers, but the relitive low cost and treditional data center style precausions and security service, provided at relitively low cost.

    No, I havn't priced out a missile silo or abandoned sub base recently...


  • Actually, there was a segment on old US missile silos run recently on (IIRC) the Discovery Channel. They did the obligatory interview with a family who owns one. Another has been converted into a school (I guess they don't really need to do 'duck and cover' drills, heh).

    But the coolest one was one that had filled with groundwater, bought by a guy who's into scuba diving. So now you can scuba dive in the middle of America's heartland. Well, as long as you're not claustrophobic, I guess.
  • I saw a special on HGTV last weekend about underground homes. One of the homes they featured was an old silo the people had converted into a home. The owner has now gone into real estate, locating a selling available silos!
  • Here [] is a great site covering lots of other Cold War bunkers and radar sites. They are updating it all the time, adding pics, etc.

  • If you want to move your servers into an old NORAD facility [], "Built to withstand a 10-megaton strike within ¼ mile of the facility ...," then HostPro can accomodate your colocation needs.
  • "Work or test on this apparatus must be authorised by the authorised person"

    Who is the authorised person?

    And who authorized them? :)
  • Defeating their own purpose:

    They are renting space in hermetically sealed rooms capable of withstanding a one Kiloton explosion, electro-magnetic "pulse bombs", electronic eavesdropping and chemical and biological warfare.

    How many of their clients' customers will still be able to access their wonderfully protected web sites over a crippled global or national Internet? Let alone how many will be alive after a one kiloton explosion or a biological weapons attack?

    Yes, their site will be up busy humming away deep underground while the rest of the world is in chaos, not caring about potential lost commerce from "Scottish Windows" or if they can order new cellular service from "BTCellnet".

    The Internet is a distributed system which relies on having enough nodes on average operational than not. An atomic blast or a heavy war-time attack is designed for distributed destruction of a country's infrastructure. Although the original IP network was designed by the military, it still is no match for war. Although packets are supposed to take alternate routes, in reality they end up following the exact same route (do a traceroute) every single time. This might change with IPv6, but probably not because most companies don't want to hassle with making sure their configurations support multiple routing schemes and that their 'dynamic' routing isn't just really static with values changed.

    The point is not much will be working, except for those sealed away sites, and those who will be able to access the Internet will have far more important things to worry about. Almost all commercial systems fail during times of serious war -- this includes the commercial Internet.
  • by tonywestonuk ( 261622 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @04:38AM (#161209)
    Someone high up requested a 'Bomb proof server' farm (as in, free from BSOD...).

    Unfortunetly - The request was just slightly misinterperated..... aw well!
  • Is the second floor of that building the top floor? Last year my company had a significant network hiccup. Somehow the sprinkler system from a floor above our company's headquarters went off. All weekend I believe. Anyway, the HQ got flooded from above, and a lot of stuff (PBX, personal records) were down. This kinda sucked since it was like my second day, and I needed to take to them about something. But I digress.

  • by Scoria ( 264473 ) <> on Monday June 11, 2001 @08:36AM (#161211) Homepage
    If there was a nuclear war, what major routers would be left? Would the root DNSes be unaffected?

    The Internet isn't as redundant as it was when it was called ARPANET. Sorry, but a nuclear war would probably render having your server in the bunker useless...

  • Seriously tho, what's the point of this excess?

    The bunker was originaly build nuclear safe for military purposes. If it was buildt from scrath for its current use it woud probably not be so "over the top", but it was bought used and just keept what was already there.

  • Okay, so it's slightly offtopic... but check out SiloHome []! For a mere 2.3 million you can have 4,000 sq.ft. of house, 100 acres of forest, a runway, and a 20,000 sq.ft. empty missle silo!
  • very odd... they're talking about the same place! Even some of the same images are being used.
  • But the banks are using it. According to the article, some of the electronic transaction processing computers are going to be housed there.

    I was just thinking that the described security would put the Mission Impossible movies to shame... perhaps there's an opening for a new script.

  • Reading that website reminded me of the "Otherland" by Tad Williams where he describes an 'old' military base hooked into the net.

  • Thats my dream setup. No one to bother me while I play computer games... Maybe a few automated weapons on the path leading down to the lan, but I think if I tip the delivery boy, he'll ignore em. Get extra power, and oxygen from remotely located solar arrays and airducts and everything should be more or less good to go. Long as I keep my mom and the fbi from buggin me.
  • who does he think folks worry more about their servers getting hit by?

    Sir, security breach in sector 3!
    It's a crusty with a dog on a piece of string.
    Oh my God! Raise the blast shields!
    He's got a spliff! He's going to smoke it!
    God help us.

  • It's not there to survive a 1kt nuclear blast, but to survive a staged attack by people wanting to cause havoc/damage to the servers. It could also withstand 400 elephants dropped on it, bombarded by angry goats, shot at repeatedly for 5 years with a chain gun, lasered into the ground etc... etc... the 1kt is just it's MAXIMUM threshhold for structural integrity, not what it's hoping to withstand

    Of course it's not going to be of any use (apart from backup) when there is a nuclear attack, but when 50 crusties are running at it with their scraggly dogs on bits of string, it'll be there in the morning (unlike that MacDonald's in Trafalgar Square after last years May Day riots).

  • ... and how did those wire cutters dig deep into the ground to get the fibre line? It's not just run across the ground you know... :)
  • If you don't do anything wrong, who gives a f**k about privacy? I don't have cameras in my house, but the people looking out for me on the street (Police, CCTV etc) I have the greatest admiration for.

    If that's your attitude, I hope you are mugged under a disused CCTV camera. That would be ironic. (just pointing it out for the Americans/Alanis Morisette out there)

  • We already have a bunker like this in The Netherlands []

    Gee thought this site was called NEWS for nerds, stuf that MATTERS.
  • Great. Now they'll have to worry about someone cutting off their power, their data lines, their cable TV, their phones, and they'll also have to worry about Islamic militants hired to work on the plumbing and flooding them out. They could all drown in there. Smart.
  • Personally, I would find it funny to find one with the missle still inside it. :)
  • I live about 6 miles away and there's no DSL or cable locally. My school, just two miles away from the base, is stuck with a 128kbps ISDN for 800 students. Anybody have any suggestions for patching into network cables? Oh, and on the comment of leaking silos, Ash is just on the edge of an ancient flood plain that was a Sea up until the Middle ages...
  • by NickFusion ( 456530 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @06:33AM (#161226) Homepage
    No kidding.
    Take a tour:
    Not exactly home sweet home.
  • I think the black helicopters are flying a liiiiittle too close to this one. BTW, you misspelled "Waco" in your paranoid ranting.
  • get rid of all those useless Cue Cats and AOL CDs. Dump 'em all in to an empty missle silo, seal it with TNT and pray to God no one ever opens it back up.
  • Does anyone have any good sources for downtime costs? I am wondering exactly what it is costing e-commerce companies, banks, governments etc. while they are down and recovering their data/systems.

    Also, anyone have any links to some good horror stories (e.g. systems penetrated and companies lost millions or threw in the towel and never got back on their feet again, etc.)

    I wonder how much of the dollar value threat is mitigated by the use of these kinds of facilities? Any insurance people out there? If we're now starting to treat the operating system (or web server environment) one is running as a factor in business insurance, how does the secureness or redundancy factor (e.g. in an installation like this) theoretically affect the insurance industry?

    How would an I.T. manager or company exec justify a move to such a facility? It has to be more than the "cool" factor.

  • by return 42 ( 459012 ) on Monday June 11, 2001 @05:05AM (#161230)

    One of those abandoned missile silos would make a nice hosting site, too.

    "So there I was, hacking away on a tax reporting program...and suddenly my computer says, 'Would you like to play a game?'"

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.