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Nuclear Bunker Houses World's Toughest Server Farm

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-down-time dept.

Security 152

Lanxon writes "Deep inside the Swiss Alps, a former nuclear bunker is now the ultimate hiding place for the world's most sensitive secrets — the Swiss Fort Knox. In a lengthy feature, Wired gains access to the server farm designed to survive a full-scale military attack. From the article: 'As we punch our codes at the checkpoint, the yellow door opens into what looks like a city of server towers, their green LEDs flickering as a technician in a white jumpsuit runs diagnostic checks. [Later], we are in a dimly lit tunnel next to what looks like a metal oven door carved into the side of the rock. "These are expansion rooms in case you have an atomic explosion outside," Christoph Oschwald, a retired Swiss paratrooper turned contractor, says. The thinking behind the rooms, he explains, is that if there were a nuclear explosion, the rush of high-pressure air would fill them through vents in the opposite side. Then, the vents would snap shut, trapping the air before it had a chance of damaging the fortress. "There is a lot of protection you can't see," he says. We stroll past an intricate network of insulated pipelines that carry water up from the underground glacial lake to the cooling system.'"

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152 comments

What secrets do the Swiss have? (5, Funny)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118406)

So is this where they store the schematics for their Swiss Army Knives?

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118442)

Perhaps you've hear of the infamous Swiss bank account?

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118476)

Swiss Miss CoCoa!

Also watch making secrets, cu-cu clock secrets, chocolate making secrets, and porn.

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118570)

Or Nazi gold...

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (3, Funny)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118674)

Or Nazi gold...

I always thought Nazi Gold was a right-extremist radio station?

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (0, Troll)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119998)

Ah, there's your mistake; "Nazi" stands for "National Socialist", so the Nazis were left-wing, not right. Of course, the current crop of lefties would VERY much like us all to forget that part.....

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (3, Insightful)

jcl-xen0n (1926472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120206)

Ah, there's your mistake; "Nazi" stands for "National Socialist", so the Nazis were left-wing, not right. Of course, the current crop of lefties would VERY much like us all to forget that part.....

Hoping you're trolling, but anyway - National Socialist was just a _name_ as the Party was born out of the German Labor movement, indeed like a lot of left-wing parties. That's where the connection begins and ends however - you certainly can't call many of the Nazi policies "left wing": - extermination of disabled / homosexuals / Jews / Gypsy(Roma) - promotion of idea of _one_ perfect race - class system that discriminated against particular groups ... and that's just for starters. Pray tell, apart from having the word "Socialist" in their name, how on Earth can you describe the Nazis as being left-wing?

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (-1, Troll)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120314)

Strange, but a LOT of lefties have had similar attitudes on racial purity and eugenics; Margaret Sanger, for example, or Stalin, or Lysenko... And anti-semitism has always been an equal-opportunity prejudice, all too common on both "sides" of the political spectrum. Especially on BOTH extremes. The problem is that the modern 'left" is better able to HIDE their prejudices, while the intolerant right is more open about it - and the centrists abhor both of them. Occasionally, of course, people like Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson makes a goof next to an open mike, and embarrasses everybody.

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121256)

100% correct, the Nazi eugenics and ethnic cleansing programs were just extensions of the theories the American Left were pushing in the 20s and 30s.

Richard Rhodes book, Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust is a great source on the subject and not political like say, Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.

National Socialism was a leftist movement, a little right of the Communists, which is why they were such bitter enemies in Germany, but not at all a Right movement.

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121662)

- extermination of disabled / homosexuals / Jews / Gypsy(Roma)
- promotion of idea of _one_ perfect race
- class system that discriminated against particular groups

I must have missed something. Since when did any of those things have anything at all to do with left/right-wing-politics?

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118712)

Perhaps you've hear of the infamous Swiss bank account?

I have, and they are useless now. [go.com]
At least for Americans.

Wait. (3, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119572)

Who would nuke Switzerland?

Re:Wait. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120006)

You wouldn't steal a car...

Re:Wait. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121792)

you wouldn't steal a baby...

Re:Wait. (2, Interesting)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121650)

Well, David Brin's book Earth posited a future where transparency had become such an accepted norm that the developed world went to war with (and nuked) Switzerland for attempting to maintain secrets (secret bank accounts and such). Probably far-fetched, but at any rate, the more relevant question is whether the server farm would stay connected to the Internet if Switzerland were nuked. A server farm doesn't do you much good if the cables leading in are cut, especially given that you'd have to send someone hiking through the alps into a radioactive wasteland to re-establish contact if the connections were cut...

Re:Wait. (2, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121728)

Only the greatest space captain to ever walk this planet, Captain Zapp Brannigan. I mean with enemies you know where they stand, but with neutrals who knows. Best nuke them before they turn the world neutral!

Re:Wait. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121972)

Zapp Brannigan?

"What makes a good man go neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?"

Re:What secrets do the Swiss have? (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120480)

So is this where they store the schematics for their Swiss Army Knives?

Yes, but they only have to store the schematic for this one [thinkgeek.com]. It is the Rosetta Stone of Swiss army knives, from which all the others can be made.

Not so tough... (4, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118412)

Might survive a nuclear attack, but not some script kiddie and an admin that likes pictures of Pam Anderson.

Re:Not so tough... (4, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118462)

Reminds me of the Simpson's episode, where Mr. Burns and Smithers go through a series of complex doors to get to the control room, just to discover that someone left the BACK DOOR open, a screen door, flapping in the breeze. Proverbial "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link".

Or a forgotten bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118572)

Or someone forgetting to pay the electricity bill. :)

will it survive a backhoe cutting the data lines? (2, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118636)

will it survive a backhoe cutting the data lines?

Re:will it survive a backhoe cutting the data line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119358)

(Elmer Fudd voice)
Be vwerrry vwerry quiet. I'ma huntin' fibah!
(/Elmer Fudd voice)

Another one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118422)

Another one of these? Sounds like everybody keeps their servers in an unused bunker these days.

Re:Another one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118824)

But they have soldiers! In black berets!

Linus had it right regarding archives/backups. Spread data, all ways and always. For somewhat sensitive data, spread it into replicated, hard-to-factor-pieces. For truly sensitive data, would you hire anyone who brags about how hard their mole-hill is?

Hmmm (3, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118430)

I guess with all this safety and protection some guy named Homer from Springfield need not apply?

Is the infrastructure getting data to/from these servers going to withstand a nuclear blast? Do the servers run Linux?? Does anyone know if their "Apocalypse Level" technical support package is for the hosting customer only or will they extend it to site subscribers as well???

Re:Hmmm (4, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118812)

The "infrastructure" seems to be a secure courier handing over hard drives in a lockbox. This is more like offline backup, not online.

Re:Hmmm (2, Interesting)

Radtoo (1646729) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119330)

Ask them... probably it would actually outlast a nuke or two. Well, we know the existing nuclear powers are capable of sending many nukes, cutting cables and underwater cables, destroying microwave dishes, some also can shoot down any satellites they don't like. But the fact that they can do ALL of that AND kill most of the world's population due to starting a nuclear war by attacking the center of Europe is what puts more than a few nails into the coffin of specifically nuke-blast protection.
Somehow I get the feeling even just that last little bit might make whatever data or other goods you put there rather un-valuable anyhow, as there won't be quite so many people in need of it for a while.

By the way, it also definitely won't last against some much less Apocalyptic event, such as the Swiss criminal justice, the legislative, or the Swiss people deciding that your goods need to be handed over.

Even so, I think it's decent hosting, rather safe against theft or sabotage, and a good reason for your executive staff or chief sysadmin will get a one or more days of skiing holidays in Switzerland every few years.

too bad all the lines in and out aren't protected (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit129 (1934224) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118486)

... or doesn't anyone care about access to the "servers"?

It's the DATA that matters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118692)

It's the persistence of the data that matters far more than the immediate accessibility of it.

Cable can eventually be relaid, even after a nuclear explosion. Drives can be removed from the servers, as well. The data, however, could likely not be replaced as easily, if ever at all.

You're probably thinking that these are front-end web servers serving up shitty web sites like Facebook or twitter, since that's all you're familiar with. Yeah, hipsters need to get their data fix, but those aren't the kind of servers you'd host in this fashion. These would likely be high-end data servers storing sensitive and extremely valuable information, not just a 140-character summary of your breakfast, the fact that your profile lists your sexual preference as "Men", or some shitty pics you took with your cellphone at the bar last weekend.

Re:It's the DATA that matters! (-1, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit131 (1934226) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118820)

don't put words in my mouth coward. i meant what i said, nothing more. i've never visited facebook or twitter. ur mum's face is a hipster and definitely needs a fix.

if these computer's are not meant to "serve" then they are not "servers".

you're an idiot.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

Re:It's the DATA that matters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118900)

Well aren't you a pissy little sissy. Got your panties in a bunch because there might be servers on the internet that won't talk to you?

P.S. I didn't see the other AC put words in your mouth.
P.P.S. Your shift key appears to be non functional. Either that or you don't know how to capitalize words properly.

Re:It's the DATA that matters! (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit125 (1933784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118956)

a coward defining "proper" standards... who do you expect to believe or respect your opinion when you take no responsibility for it? capitalization doesn't change logical meaning... it is a tool of the weak minded to ease their limited reading ability.

you're completely pathetic.

from the coward's mouth with regard to my original comment:

"You're probably thinking that...."

you're also an ignorant idiot. i was thinking what i wrote, and i wrote what i was thinking. nothing more.

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

Re:It's the DATA that matters! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119426)

Jew.

Re:It's the DATA that matters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120264)

Poor little baby is getting tired of his sock puppets posting at -1 eh?

If you are going to troll you will need to do much better than this, we get better trolls on our brakfast cereal than you child.

Re:too bad all the lines in and out aren't protect (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121142)

Well sir, as the others said, this place is a data store, its not for live front-end servers, in fact TFA even states that they receive a lot of data via hand delivery (bonded courier, etc).

So in summary, no, no one cares about the access to the servers, they only care that they are still there and the data is retrievable somehow.

I will go further to point out that their most secure areas are just safes that not even the staff of the place are allowed to enter, only the "owner" of the particular safe, and are as such not digitally accessible at all.

Glacial lake for cooling? (4, Funny)

gatzke (2977) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118508)

Underground glacial lake for cooling?

I thought it was the CO2 that was melting the glaciers in Europe, not farmville.

Re:Glacial lake for cooling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118926)

How else would they get the sharks in there?

Re:Glacial lake for cooling? (1)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34122002)

Underground glacial lake for cooling?

I thought it was the CO2 that was melting the glaciers in Europe, not farmville.

I don't understand this fascination for bunker server farms, besides the Neil Stephenson geek factor. There's no way you can evacuate the heat from those servers while deep underground. The only option is to run long pipes to suck air in and out, and that takes lots of energy. And if you close the vent because the apocalypse/rapture/singularity has arrived, then your server will overheat in seconds. But maybe here they found the solution thanks to this underground water flow...

Flood proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118530)

So how many megawatts of heat are they pumping into the glacier they rely on for cooling and are they prepared for the ensuing flood?

Exactly how often are we going to hear this? (4, Insightful)

cheros (223479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118558)

This is deja vu all over again. First off, if it's not a chain of similar setups you have a single site problem - BLAM goes your redundancy. Secondly, define "nuclear attack". If that means "survive the EMP from a nuclear blast" there would be some value in it, but that's going to be a tad hard to prove without seriously upsetting neighboring Gstaad with radiation :-).

However, most importantly, this stopped being news several years ago - if this is a new setup it's just yet-another-one, if it's not it's not news either. Some of these setups are quite cute, but the idea isn't exactly novel.

Ah, got it. The hint is in the article: "Rauber and his team, a public-relations representative" - who paid who for what here?

Yawn.

Re:Exactly how often are we going to hear this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119090)

1000m rock will take care of any EMP.

Re:Exactly how often are we going to hear this? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119344)

The EMP is the easy part. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage

But surviving the strike itself? Only if it's a relatively small nuke. Once you get into the tens of MEGAtons that your typical ICBM is going to be carrying, having a mountain on top of you isn't going to matter much. Specially when all the datalines feeding this place are only 6 feet underground. Even if the data inside survived, all the connections would be severed, any tunnel leading in would be filled with molten rock and any workers inside would end up starving to death rather quickly.

Re:Exactly how often are we going to hear this? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119500)

Actually, with a bunker like that, there'd be months worth of food stored. They'd starve to death rather slowly.

However, if I were designing such a bunker, I'd have a tunnel boring machine on the inside and/or a back exit some hundreds of km away.

Re:Exactly how often are we going to hear this? (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121162)

Actually a mountain is a pretty damned good way of defending yourself against a nuke.

Your average nuke will go off mid-air to create most havoc, this will destroy most things above ground, but it sure as hell won't remove a mountain.

It's nice to know (1)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118578)

It's nice to know that my servers will still be running after a nuclear holocaust.

Not Replaceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118582)

I thought this was an odd statement in the article, "The point is, data is more valuable than money -- because money is replaceable, data is not."

Is Herr Oschwald familiar with backups?

Re:Not Replaceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119242)

... and where do you store those backups ? In a place that can withstand a nuclear blast ? Hmmm, let me see if I can think of any such place. Oh ya! The fucking place they are talking about in the article ...

Re:Not Replaceable? (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119256)

I imagine he is...which is why he offers this service. One of the services mentioned is off-site backups in a secure location. I can't imagine a location much more secure than under a mountain in Switzerland.

I doubt that his facility would be used for the sole storage of data, but as a secondary site for backups. Then again, CrashPlan/Carbonite/Mozy offer sufficient security and redundancy for most people's needs for a lot cheaper, so I don't think there's a huge market for nuclear-hardened data centers. I could be wrong though.

Re:Not Replaceable? (1)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120322)

Everyone who needs a nuclear-hardened data center can and has built one themselves and is smart enough to keep their damn mouth shut about it. You can't claim to be a nuclear-hardened storage facility when you basically advertise that you should be the direct target for multiple high-yield nuclear strikes in the event of global warfare (not that anyone would be trying to use the internet or restore from backup anyway at that point).

Re:Not Replaceable? (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121570)

You could also have a secure server in Switzerland so it can attract customers and nukes while the data is in a secure server in another continent...
There are probably a lot of nuclear bunkers in the US. Norad is the best, but it is occupied atm (and an interesting target in and of itself).

Ahem... (3, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118584)

World's toughest server farm that you know about.

It's not nearly as secure now that we all know that it exists and where it is...

Nothing is impentrable (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118596)

Sure it can survive a nuclear assault... but can it survive a lawsuit?

Re:Nothing is impentrable (1)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118668)

We're talking about Switzerland here... Oh dear $deity, why are americans so friends with the courts?

Re:Nothing is impentrable (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119788)

Is the '$deity' thing written to be religiously non-specific ($deity == Jesus OR Allah OR Shiva OR Buddha OR Krishna, etc.) or is the dollar sign an indication of what kind of Almighty we're talking about?

Re:Nothing is impentrable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121254)

I'm no coder but from what I understand it's a variable that infers any given value from a particular set. The dollar symbol is probably a code-specific operator, rather than representative of an actual fiscal dollar.

Re:Nothing is impentrable (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121578)

While the dollar as deity is interesting I usually use it as a way to insult all deities, even the ones I do not know about. I prefer to be an equal opportunities asshole.

Re:Nothing is impentrable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119266)

Sure it can survive a crysis... but can it play a nuclear assault?

Pointless (4, Informative)

Leebert (1694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118748)

Proper availability is generally achieved through redundancy, not silly stunts like this.

Re:Pointless (3, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118940)

Proper availability is generally achieved through redundancy, not silly stunts like this.

Proper availability is generally achieved by multiply-redundant, geographically distributed, block-replicated silly stunts like this. Who says it's just one bunker?

Way down on my list (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118810)

If things get so bad that Switzerland is getting nuked, then my data will be one of the least of my worries.

Cold-War Era Bunker...I've seen this before. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34118866)

So let me get this straight...
They hide secrets here.
It's a server farm in a nuclear bunker.
With data retention and servers?

Is it by chance called Crystal Peak?

Ah no matter Skynet isn't controlled by a central location anyway...

Re:Cold-War Era Bunker...I've seen this before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119568)

Ah no matter Skynet isn't controlled by a central location anyway...

But President John Henry Eden [wikia.com] was.

Nuclear Bunker Houses World's Toughest Server Farm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34118934)

impressive

yes (-1, Redundant)

designvibe (1934366) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119034)

I guess with all this safety and protection some guy named Homer from Springfield need not apply? Is the infrastructure getting data to/from these servers going to withstand a nuclear blast? Do the servers run Linux?? Does anyone know if their "Apocalypse Level" technical support package is for the hosting customer only or will they extend it to site subscribers as well??? Thanks http://www.design-vibe.co.uk/ [design-vibe.co.uk]

sooo... (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119076)

I guess the "full scale military attack" doesn't include a couple privates beating the shit out of some nerds until they get the access code?

Can we find the bunker? (2, Interesting)

lightspeedius (263290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119302)

The article states "Wired has been instructed not to disclose its exact whereabouts." However it also gives a fair amount of info about it's location. I'm not familiar with the Swiss Alps, but there's probably at least a couple of people on the Internet who are.

What we know is:
It's in or near the "tiny village of Saanen, in the canton of Bern."
You have to "pass a Tissot boutique abutting a tractor dealership before the road dives into dense forest and follows a stream."
It "appears to be nothing more than a timber operation, with lorries moving wooden payloads around a gravelly clearing."

Is there enough there to find this place?

Re:Can we find the bunker? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119648)

Well, according to google maps, in the village of Saanen, in Bern, Switzerland, there is a Tissot boutique adjacent to what looks like a rental store with farm machinery in the parking lot. However, that street is "downtown". Following the roads does not lead to a timber operation, but either to nearby towns or villages, with farmhouses along them.

Yes (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119830)

Saanen has a population (as of 31 December 2009) of 7,053.
Saanen is a very small town. I looked at it on the satellite maps. It only has one stream, which runs strait through the town.
How about someone else find the tractor dealership? I tried Google maps, but couldn't find it.

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120744)

On Google Earth, Saanen isn't just a town, it's also the name for for a municipality. I guess that would be the Hamlet, right?
On the very south of that region there are some mountains. There seems to be two tree lined glacial rivers that branch southward from the village of Gstaad. Following either of those small rivers gets you to what looks like a glacial lake.

We know it's under mountains and has a glacial lake for cooling water. Saanen the city proper doesn't sit upon those, it's most visible aerial feature is an airstrip. Following the two branches I mentioned before, the one by Gsteig seems to be closer to the more heavily forested area. So I'd look around there. Unfortunately the Google Earth resolution isn't exactly hi-res enough in that area to look for much in the way of mountain entrances or vents. Not to mention the entrance could be under what looks like a normal house. The areas also have a couple of bus-stops, so I doubt you'll see something like a parking lot that could also be a give-away.

Good luck and good hunting!

I've figured it out finally! (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119458)

1. Buy Old Abandoned Nuclear Silo
2. Put Server Farm in Nuclear Silo
3. Wait for Free Promotion of Services to Appear on Slashdot, Because They Run a Batcave Article Like This Every Few Months!
4. Profit!!!

A nice piece of advertising (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119486)

All I see in this article is a fancy piece of advertising for a company who runs a data center located in a bunker and runs their whole marketing on the "military toughness" fad. Also apparently they only offer storage so forget about having seedboxes and what have you, hosted there... Nothing to see here, move along...

well... (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119640)

This sounds like a brilliant way to ensure that the servers and their caretakers outlive the general population of Switzerland. Let them breed for a few hundred thousand years after the nuclear holocaust and I suspect the place will be just right for a visit by The Doctor.

Re:well... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120764)

The Doctor is regenerating right now; however, K9 has been tuning the servers for optimum performance and doing touch-and-goes in the Tardis.

Relation of this to nuclear survivability -- Zero.

Website reads like a Chinese instruction manual (1)

matty619 (630957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119668)

With all the money spent on this, you'd think they'd be able to hire a decent English translator. I'm assuming this [swissfortknox.ch] is their website.

Pics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34119750)

or it didn't happen

Disappointing... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119780)

That article about all of this awesome tech in a sweet facility...and the only picture they can muster up is a generic panorama of some foothills? I want to see caves full of servers! I want to see giant ice sheets being melted for the purpose of cpu cooling!

People still don't get electronic security. (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34119802)

Safekeeping data and safekeeping material goods ARE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

A physical object must be kept in a secure vault with physical access protection, because there is only one of it. Information can be kept orders of magnitude more safely simply by storing redundant copies of it. Even if you are after keeping the information secret rather than protecting its integrity, encryption is more effective than steel doors.

Or maybe you're after ensuring that the computers remain connected to the internet? But if the location is subject to a fraction of the force a bunker is needed to protect against, any cable connections to the outside are likely to be destroyed.

mod u3p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120046)

was irn the tea I incompatibilities

X5 class solar storms (1)

Israfels (730298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120218)

But can it survive an X5, or higher, solar storm? All the wires that must run to the surface would be definite weakness.

"designed to survive a nuclear attack" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34120238)

Checking the article... it was built in the 1960s. So its survival was based on 1960s bombs, which were dropped from bombers or arrived on mid-range missiles. Both platforms were, of course, less accurate than one would like, a few years behind whatever new thing was currently being tested, and subject to weight limitations. Plus the *exact* bunker location was secret (preferably its very existence was secret), as even then it was hard to design something for a direct hit.

In other words, it could probably be taken out by conventional bombs today. (This is no slight against the Swiss; pretty much every bunker from back then is susceptible to modern tech. And the few tougher ones are not immune to the ICBMs of the 1980s paired with the targeting systems of the 1990s. Why do you think the US had a full nuclear command post airborne at all times, even back then, when it had NORAD built inside a mountain? Because they weren't actually sure that bunker could take an arbitrary number of direct hits).

That said: it's still very cool, and no one is going to be firing any nukes at Switzerland anyway. The worst they need to survive is an earthquake or a terrorist truck full of explosives, and the bunker ought to be able to handle either just fine. (IMO, the only non-government places that currently need to consider being nuked are in India and Pakistan (vs each other) and Japan (from North Korea), and even those are kind of a long shot).

Prove It (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34120484)

I worked in a similar setup outside Toronto in the 1990s. It was a nuke bunker built for NorTel, which supposedly was designed and built in the 1960s to withstand a direct hydrogen bomb hit on Toronto. It housed NorTel and Bell Canada switching equipment and servers, but also rented out cabinets to anyone paying for a contract. Nevermind the ease with which I could have left a big box of explosives wired up to a detonator triggered over its Internet connection. But even though I had to pass through a half dozen checkpoints between the surface entrance and the datacenter underground, my pager used to go off quite reliably when people paged me. Regular radio waves penetrated this "nuke proof" bunker. I expect an actual nuke would have fried everything inside it, regardless of how much the Canadian government paid some contractor to protect it.

But NorTel and our other government clients believed it was nuke proof. Even though their pagers went off inside it, too. I have no faith that this Swiss bunker is any different. After all, if a nuke did hit it, who was going to sue the builders for failing to honor the contract?

Dandelions (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121308)

It's been said before but I'll say it again :)

Redundancy and distribution are the only viable solutions for long-term persistence of information.

Bunkers are bunk. Major problem that we all know where this one is now.

Cynic from Switzerland here (also a link) (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121590)

TFA doesn't seem to have a link: Swiss Fort Knox [swissfortknox.ch]

Don't get the wrong idea - it's as much a marketing gag as anything. During and after WWII, the Swiss determined that their best defense was to be able to retreat to - and then attack from - the mountains. In the last couple of decades, the Swiss military has been reducing the number of bunkers that it uses. This company picked up an army-surplus bunker and decided to market it as the safest place to store your data.

So, sure, the bunker was originally designed to survive a nuclear strike. Which means that it certainly ought to survive any sort of lesser event, like floods and earthquakes. And physical security is, of course, easy. The single-site problem, and script kiddies - these are not really huge concerns: big businesses tend to use this place as their extra, just-in-case offsite backup. Of course, if you really want to pay them money to run your normal web-site there, I expect you can...

What a huge let down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34121788)

Wired writers seem to have a bit of a penchant for embellishment. They could probably do an article on me sitting here picking my nose and composing this message on Slashdot, and there would be so much fluff that it would really seem like an extraordinary thing.

BUT... What the hell did they do with the big juicy nuggets of geeky goodness? So they have a little datacenter in a bank vault under a mountain in a nuclear bunker in a country that will never get nuked. They also apparently have a customer that does off-site tape/disk rotation, like you'd find in just about any datacenter, enterprise, or really any other place that has disks/tape.

AND..... HELLO.. PICTURES?! He says that the guy told him to take all the pictures he wants, but the best he can muster is some generic photo of a little village in the Alps?!

And then, if the article weren't lacking enough, half of it is him going off on a tangent about some (relatively) lame collection of documents describing file formats so that the good professor will still be able to access his porn stash in the year 2050.

You get an F+, sir!

Security isn't the only criteria (1)

sam0ht (46606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121852)

My company has its website hosted from a nuclear bunker. Very secure, reliable, etc etc. Actually getting the guys there to DO anything for us, (like upgrade MySQL), is an exercise in frustration, to the point that it is a real limitation on our ability to develop our product.

So, when looking for hosting or backup, don't allow 'OMG Mega Nuke-proof Security' to distract you from also evaluating all the other relevant criteria (such as responsiveness and know-how).

I'm happy to know ... (1)

SecondHand (883047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34121874)

... that when the world is nuked, the survivors can retrieve a copy of Phil Collins' and Tina Turner's CDs.
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