Sweden's Ultra-Modern Underground Data Center

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News Posted: Sat, Nov 15 2008 2:42 AM

Underneath Stockholm, deep in the bedrock exists a data center better than any high tech lair Hollywood could probably dream up. Bahnhof, one of Sweden's largest ISP's has created a bunker of high tech goodness that is surely to astound.

The facility is called Pionen and once you get past the 16 inch thick entrance doors into the once nuclear bunker now converted to a data center, the spectacular sights that await are simply breathtaking. Replete with waterfalls, greenhouses, German submarine backup engines, and simulated daylight this facility has the added benefit of being able to withstand an almost direct hit by a hydrogen bomb.

The space Pionen now occupies was originally built during the Cold War era as a nuclear shelter. Located below 30 meters of solid bedrock the space was completely redesigned during 2007-2008. Now Boasting 11,950 sq ft of space it houses the Network Operations Center (NOC) for all of Bahnhof's operations. One of five data centers, it is the largest and is manned by a 15 member team of senior technical staff.

Backup power is generated by two Maybach MTU diesel engines that produce 1.5 Megawatts of power and were originally designed for submarines. The cooling is handled by "Baltimore Aircoil fans producing a cooling effect of 1.5 megawatts" which is enough to cool several hundred rack-mounted servers.

Triple redundant internet backbone pipes are split across fiber and copper and delivered via multiple physical paths into the mountain.


Conference Room


Left: View of servers from moon surfaced conference room. Right: Submarine backup engines


Network Operations Center


 
Waterfalls

 

When asked the motivation behind Pionen, Jon Karlung, CEO of Bahnhof said “Rather than just concentrating on technical hardware we decided to put humans in focus. Of course, the security, power, cooling, network, etc, are all top notch, but the people designing data centers often (always!) forget about the humans that are supposed to work with the stuff.”


Data Center Layout

 


“Since we got hold of this unique nuclear bunker in central Stockholm deep below the rock, we just couldn't’t build it like a traditional – more boring – hosting center,” he said. “We wanted to make something different. The place itself needed something far out in design and science fiction was the natural source of inspiration in this case – plus of course some solid experience from having been a hosting provider for more than a decade.”

Regarding the design of the facility, he said “I’m personally a big fan of old science fiction movies. Especially ones from the 70s like Logan’s Run, Silent Running, Star Wars (especially The Empire Strikes Back) so these were an influence,“ said Karlung. “James Bond movies have also had an impact on the design. I was actually looking for the same outfit as the villain ‘Blofeld’ in Bond and even considered getting a white cat, but that might have been going a bit far!”


 


Before Construction


 
I only have two questions...  What time does the DJ come on?  Wheres the dance floor?
 
 
 
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That place is epic.

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ice_73 replied on Sat, Nov 15 2008 3:27 PM

that looks so cooooooooool, looks like some level out of a video game!

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 can we say overkill and unlimited budget! triple redundant lines, 2 submarine engines for backup power. Looks like verizon needs to take a few lessons from these guys on how to design a data center. Of course most people have a budget they have to stay within. Obviously these guys don't!

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kid007 replied on Sat, Nov 15 2008 5:59 PM

nelson it is not about a budget but how well you build a place that is going to be ur place of work. look how freaking productive are the Google office compared to others offices? remember comcast back when it came out and it became the largest isp provided until at&t came up witht he u-verse crap.

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nelsoncp21:

 can we say overkill and unlimited budget! triple redundant lines, 2 submarine engines for backup power. Looks like verizon needs to take a few lessons from these guys on how to design a data center. Of course most people have a budget they have to stay within. Obviously these guys don't!

Sounds like they are building something that will outlast the cockroaches.

 

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*

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Triple posting bob?! For shame. Hope it was an accident and not point whoring. lol

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My internet was messed up. My bad.Embarrassed

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Heck I just want to move in there wonder if they got an extra cot to sleep on.

 

 

 

 

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replied on Sun, Nov 16 2008 11:56 AM

Wow, that is way cool. Looks like an awesome place to hang out!

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Welcome to HH JM... stick around & enjoy!

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very cool looking place

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that's freaKin' sweet. thInk they'll give touRs? (jk)

 

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kid007:

nelson it is not about a budget but how well you build a place that is going to be ur place of work. look how freaking productive are the Google office compared to others offices? remember comcast back when it came out and it became the largest isp provided until at&t came up witht he u-verse crap.

 

 Oh I agree that spending a few extra dollars that makes the workplace a more productive area of work is a good thing. I was simply stating that this is an extereme version of that. There are many ways of making a more pleasant and freindly place to work without braking the bank. For example what is the point in the triple redundant lines. I see the point in having redundancey but not triple redundancy. Rarely does something happen to the primary but if it does you ahve the secondary. In what scenario would you possibly have both the primary and the secondary down but not the third? I honestly can't think of anything logical. The secondary is only there for the small fraction of time it takes to get the primary back on line. the likely hood of the secondary going down also during that timeframe is next to nothing. The place is definately cool but a big waste of money unless your trying to make front page news! 

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nelsoncp21:

 Oh I agree that spending a few extra dollars that makes the workplace a more productive area of work is a good thing. I was simply stating that this is an extereme version of that. There are many ways of making a more pleasant and freindly place to work without braking the bank. For example what is the point in the triple redundant lines. I see the point in having redundancey but not triple redundancy. Rarely does something happen to the primary but if it does you ahve the secondary. In what scenario would you possibly have both the primary and the secondary down but not the third? I honestly can't think of anything logical. The secondary is only there for the small fraction of time it takes to get the primary back on line. the likely hood of the secondary going down also during that timeframe is next to nothing. The place is definately cool but a big waste of money unless your trying to make front page news! 

Remember how many cross atlantic lines got cut this summer?

 

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Nov 16 2008 10:29 PM

All I want to know is, does the conference room come with the Swedish chicky too?

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rapid1 replied on Mon, Nov 17 2008 1:05 AM

Lol, there is a place in Atlanta I used to rent out a warehouse in like that pre-build probably larger though. It was a SE united states Military Nuclear Fallout zone. It is now loft and warehouse apartments and storage units on the ground up level. I don't know how deep it goes I once heard 9 levels I went down 3 once. We were thinking about building a nightclub in the two underground accessible levels. The complex was huge (4 city blocks) and had it's own zip code.

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bob_on_the_cob:

 

Remember how many cross atlantic lines got cut this summer?

 

 

I remeber something about some lines being cut but I don't remember any details.

 

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Dez replied on Mon, Nov 17 2008 8:19 AM

Actually there is one image missing from their presentation. Why it was taken out I don't understand...

http://www.geocities.com/bondheadquarters/blofeldfrwl.jpg

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ice91785 replied on Mon, Nov 17 2008 11:06 AM

It looks cool for sure. I would say that it looks like something James Bond has to infaltrate to shut down the nuclear reactors before the terrorists arm their weapons of mass chaos to launch toward washington DC all while at the same time having to save the 'swedish chicky' from sure death by rescuing her from a single guard that is watching tv and no paying attention to james sneaking in to club him in the head.

In short, this data center will inevidibly be invaded by james bond and a hot swedish chick sometime soon

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Nov 17 2008 11:19 AM

Its amazing what you can do when you get to design the Data Center from the ground up given a budget vs. retro-fitting a new Data Center into a current design. It always costs more to retrofit, but thats the way management wants it so you do it.

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nelsoncp21:

bob_on_the_cob:

 

Remember how many cross atlantic lines got cut this summer?

 

 

I remeber something about some lines being cut but I don't remember any details.

 

There were like three or four mediterranean and atlanic cables that got severed all down at the same time. slowed the internet moving in and out of the middle east for a while.

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 yeah I remember hearing something about it but not sure how that relates.

#1 was there a redundancy or back up line for the cables that got cut?

#2 where the cables that got cut, cut in the same section or did 2 different cables get cut at the same time in different locations?

I seriously doupt that if they had back up lines running in a different area then the primary's that they got cut at the same time. Thats the point I was trying to make. Not saying it's not possible just not the least bit likely unless done on purpose.

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nelsoncp21:

 yeah I remember hearing something about it but not sure how that relates.

#1 was there a redundancy or back up line for the cables that got cut?

#2 where the cables that got cut, cut in the same section or did 2 different cables get cut at the same time in different locations?

I seriously doupt that if they had back up lines running in a different area then the primary's that they got cut at the same time. Thats the point I was trying to make. Not saying it's not possible just not the least bit likely unless done on purpose.

Not sure were they all got cut. They were not redundant, but when one is cut traffic moves over to the others so I guess they kinda are. You right it's not very likely at all. I was just finding a reason they might go to such extremes.

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 some people don't need a reason they just do because they canWink

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method526 replied on Sat, Nov 22 2008 1:26 AM

black mesa???

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That's an awesome data center! I wonder what it would be like to work there.

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method526:

black mesa???

http://www.blackmesasource.com/

It's a mod built from the source engine. Looks really cool. Check out the screenshots they have under media.

EDIT: LOL I thought this was the HL thread.

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