Old UK nuclear bunker gives military-like data security

What do you give to the paranoid CIO who has everything? The answer is the most up-to-date security facility outside military establishments. The Bunker has just launched the company and its services, centering around ultra-secure underground facilities for servers and systems, all located at highly secured sites at secret rural locations in Kent, Berkshire and Suffolk.

The company offers what it calls ultra-security for hosted systems and managed services using data centers buried inside ex-military bunkers, originally designed to withstand nuclear explosions. The company said that its customers' data is secure from unauthorized intrusions and urban disasters, allowing users to be sure of meeting future regulatory and business continuity requirements.

Connectivity includes a pair of 155Mbit/s SDH pipes, which The Bunker's operations director Paul Lightfoot said could be upgraded to customer requirement.

Continuity is maintained by two separate 11kV links direct to the National Grid, enough water, food and fuel to keep the site up and running for 90 days -- Lightfoot couldn't say which resource would run out first.

Physical security measures include military-specification, reinforced-concrete underground enclosures, regular guard dog patrols, military-spec barbed wire fences, and a generally forbidding aspect to the locations.

"We also have a strong security culture here", Lightfoot said, "which comes from hiring people whose background is such that they think security first, before they react to anything."

Services fall into three categories. Secured location of customer equipment in 'slab and core' facilities involves customer hardware co-location in a blank room behind what Lightfoot called, "the highest standards of physical and digital security".

Secured hosting, which sales and marketing director Thomas Nikolopulos said offered "the best margins", offers open source software protecting the company's own hardware, delivering services to customer requirements. Examples of services include firewalls, managed backups, load balancing and other standard digital security measures such as VPNs and digital certificates.

Disaster recovery services from The Bunker include the ability for an enterprise to relocate to its facility when required, while it claimed that a number of smaller businesses want simpler, backup and data storage facilities.

Customers acquired so far include chemical giant Pfizer, as well as a number of financial institutions the names of which it was unprepared to disclose.

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