Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hunt Midwest seeks tenant for SubTech underground data center space Read more: Hunt Midwest seeks tenant for SubTech underground data center space -

SubTech Data Center is a ground-level facility built inside solid limestone,
offering security unmatched by any other data center facility. SubTech is located in Kansas City, which provides one of the lowest utility costs in the country and is ranked #2 in the United States for enterprise data center operating affordability. SubTech's data center solutions are reliable and flexible, offering maximum power and connectivity for your robust data center needs.
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Expanding or needing data center space? SubTech has millions of square feet available for IT and raised floor area. The facility provides clients with data center space ranging from 5,000 - 100,000+ square feet with 16' clear ceiling heights throughout. The initial 100,000 s.f. can be built out in 20,000 s.f. modules. Click here to download our site plan. http://www.subtechkc.com/site_plan.pdf

Ora Reynolds (left), president of Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, and Tammy Henderson, director of real estate marketing and governmental affairs, are preparing for when a portal (background) will be the front door to an underground data center.

Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development Inc. is getting into the data center business — or rather, under it. Subtechkc

The Kansas City-based company plans to build a 40,000-square-foot data center in Hunt Midwest SubTropolis. The massive underground business complex is roughly northeast of Interstate 435 and Missouri Highway 210 in Kansas City.
Construction on the estimated $30 million SubTech project will begin once Hunt Midwest signs a tenant or tenants for the first 20,000 square feet, company President Ora Reynolds said.
Reynolds said the company originally planned a 100,000-square-foot project but scaled back after an unsuccessful attempt in the summer to add state tax incentives for data centers to a bill aimed at retaining automotive jobs. Missouri is at a disadvantage, she said, because Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma offer financial breaks for data centers.
“The investment in a data center is so much more expensive than a regular building,” Reynolds said. “The investment is so large you can’t do ‘If you build it, they will come’ if you don’t think you can compete.”
Reynolds said the company envisions a Tier 3 facility, meaning it has redundant power and cooling systems, with the ability to expand in 20,000-square-foot increments.
“The thing that we’re saying is the biggest advantage, and what makes us different, is we have 8 million square feet that has been mined out and has not been developed at the present time,” Reynolds said. “Somebody who’s out there and says, ‘I need 20,000 square feet now, but I know I’m going to grow and need 100,000 square feet in the next five years,’ we can accommodate them while somebody who has an office building wouldn’t let half the building stay empty.”
She said Hunt Midwest would be strictly a landlord, preferring to find a managed services/collocation firm to become the main tenant, subleasing rack and cabinet space to smaller companies or leasing entire data suites or powered shells — where the tenants install most of the technical infrastructure themselves.
The data center business has taken off in recent years as companies have looked for options to remotely operate or back up data networks.
New York-based Tier 1 Research said in a Sept. 23 report that demand has outstripped supply in many markets because the economy has slowed construction and financing of new data centers.
The underground data center is relatively new in the industry, despite the obvious increase in security and resistance to natural disasters.
Tier 1 analysts Jason Schafer and Michael Levy said in a separate report looking at the SubTech project that so-called data bunkers have had trouble attracting tenants in other markets because of the added complexity of supplying power and getting rid of excess heat and moisture.
They said that SubTech does have size and the ability to grow in phases going for it but that it will run into the same skepticism other operators encounter.
“This isn’t to say that there isn’t a market for a secure underground data center facility,” they wrote. “It just fits the needs of fewer types of tenants that are likely comparing all data center providers.”
Cavern Technologies operates a 40,000-square-foot data center in the underground Meritex Lenexa Executive Park. Cavern President John Clune said the company has grown from four customers three years ago to 35.
“Our market has really taken off,” he said, adding that not having to construct an actual building and underground’s cooler air temperatures let Cavern compete on cost. “The economics of the underground allow us to provide more space for the money.”
Clune said that data centers typically charge as much as $1,200 a rack but that he charges $2,900 for 250 square feet — enough room for four racks.
“It’s when people come down here that the light goes on,” he said.
Numerous area companies operate their data centers, including some in underground space.
Overland Park-based Sprint Nextel Corp. has three data centers supporting network operations, with two built into earthen embankments, spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer said.
Other companies use underground caves to store computer data tapes.

What is SubTropolis?

SubTropolis was created through the mining of a 270-million-year-old limestone deposit. In the mining process, limestone is removed by the room and pillar method, leaving 25-foot square pillars that are on 65-foot centers and 40 feet apart.
The pillars’ even spacing, concrete flooring and 16-foot high, smooth ceilings make build-to-suit facilities time and cost efficient for tenants. A tenant requiring 10,000 to one million square feet can be in their space within 150 days. SubTropolis is completely dry, brightly lit, with miles of wide, paved streets accessed at street level.
Hunt Midwest SubTropolis sets the standard for subsurface business developments.

Read more: Hunt Midwest seeks tenant for SubTech underground data center space - Denver Business Journal

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Underground Secure Data Center Operations

Technology based companies are building new data centers in old mines, caves, and bunkers to host computer equipment below the Earth's surface.

Underground Secure Data Center Operations have a upward trend.

Operations launched in inactive gypsum mines, caves, old abandoned coal mines, abandoned solid limestone mines, positioned deep below the bedrock mines, abandoned hydrogen bomb nuclear bunkers, bunkers deep underground and secure from disasters, both natural and man-made.

The facility have advantages over traditional data centers, such as increased security, lower cost, scalability and ideal environmental conditions. There economic model works, despite the proliferation of data center providers, thanks largely to the natural qualities inherent in the Underground Data Centers.

With 10,000, to to over a 1,000,000 square feet available, there is lots of space to be subdivided to accommodate the growth needs of clients. In addition, the Underground Data Centers has an unlimited supply of naturally cool, 50-degree air, providing the ideal temperature and humidity for computer equipment with minimal HVAC cost.

They are the most secure data centers in the world and unparalleled in terms of square footage, scalability and environmental control.

Yet, while the physical and cost benefits of being underground make them attractive, they have to also invested heavily in high-speed connectivity and redundant power and fiber systems to ensure there operations are not just secure, but also state-of-the-art.

There initially focused on providing disaster recovery solutions, and backup co-location services.

Clients lease space for their own servers, while other provides secure facilities, power and bandwidth. They offers redundant power sources and multiple high-speed Internet connections through OC connected to SONET ring linked to outside connectivity providers through redundant fiber cables.

Underground Data Centers company augments there core services to include disaster recovery solutions, call centers, NOC, wireless connectivity and more.

Strategic partnering with international, and national information technology company, enable them to offer technology solutions ranging from system design and implementation to the sale of software and equipment.

The natural qualities of the Underground Data Centers allow them to offer the best of both worlds premier services and security at highly competitive rates.

Underground Data Centers were established starting in 1990's but really came into there own after September 11 attacks in 2001 when there founders realized the former mines, and bunker offered optimal conditions for a data center. The mines, and bunkers offered superior environmental conditions for electronic equipment, almost invulnerable security and they located near power grids.

Adam Couture, a Mass.-based analyst for Gartner Inc. said Underground Data Centers could find a niche serving businesses that want to reduce vulnerability to any future attacks. Some Underground Data Centers fact sheet said that the Underground Data Center would protect the data center from a cruise missile explosion or plane crash.

Every company after September 11 attacks in 2001 are all going back and re-evaluating their business-continuity plans, This doesn't say everybody's changing them, but everybody's going back and revisiting them in the wake of what happened and the Underground Data Center may be just that.

Comparison chart: Underground data centers

Five facilities compared
Name InfoBunker, LLC The Bunker Montgomery Westland Cavern Technologies Iron Mountain The Underground
Location Des Moines, Iowa* Dover, UK Montgomery, Tex. Lenexa, Kan. Butler County, Penn.*
In business since 2006 1999 2007 2007 Opened by National Storage in 1954. Acquired by Iron Mountain 1998.
Security /access control Biometric; keypad; pan, tilt and zoom cameras; door event and camera logging CCTV, dogs, guards, fence Gated, with access control card, biometrics and a 24x7 security guard Security guard, biometric scan, smart card access and motion detection alarms 24-hour armed guards, visitor escorts, magnetometer, x-ray scanner, closed-circuit television, badge access and other physical and electronic measures for securing the mine's perimeter and vaults
Distance underground (feet) 50 100 60 125 220
Ceiling height in data center space (feet) 16 12 to 50 10 16 to 18 15 (10 feet from raised floor to dropped ceiling)
Original use Military communications bunker Royal Air Force military bunker Private bunker designed to survive a nuclear attack. Complex built in 1982 by Louis Kung (Nephew of Madam Chang Kai Shek) as a residence and headquarters for his oil company, including a secret, 40,000 square foot nuclear fallout shelter. The office building uses bulletproof glass on the first floor and reception area and 3-inch concrete walls with fold-down steel gun ports to protect the bunker 60 feet below. Limestone mine originally developed by an asphalt company that used the materials in road pavement Limestone mine
Total data center space (square feet) 34,000 50,000 28,000 plus 90,000 of office space in a hardened, above-ground building. 40,000 60,000
Total space in facility 65,000 60,000 28,000 3 million 145 acres developed; 1,000 acres total
Data center clients include Insurance company, telephone company, teaching hospital, financial services, e-commerce, security
monitoring/surveillance, veterinary, county government
Banking, mission critical Web applications, online trading NASA/T-Systems, Aker Solutions, Continental Airlines, Houston Chronicle, Express Jet Healthcare, insurance, universities, technology, manufacturing, professional services Marriott International Inc., Iron Mountain, three U.S. government agencies
Number of hosted primary or backup data centers 2 50+ 13 26 5
Services offered Leased data center space, disaster recovery space, wholesale bandwidth Fully managed platforms, partly managed platforms, co-location Disaster recovery/business continuity, co-location and managed services Data center space leasing, design, construction and management Data center leasing, design, construction and maintenance services
Distance from nearest large city Des Moines, about 45 miles* Canterbury, 10 miles; London, 60 miles Houston, 40 miles Kansas City, 15 miles Pittsburgh, 55 miles
Location of cooling system, includng cooling towers Underground Underground Above and below ground. All cooling towers above ground in secure facility. Air cooled systems located underground. Cooling towers located outside
Chillers located above ground to take advantage of "free cooling." Pumps located underground.
Location of generators and fuel tanks Underground Above ground and below ground Two below ground, four above ground. All fuel tanks buried topside. Underground Underground
*Declined to cite exact location/disatance for security reasons.