“We’ve been in business since 1995. I’d heard about these sorts of places and quite often looked at them with envy. Over lunch one day, one of our managers mentioned that there was an ex-bunker quite close to us and that it was on the market,” Smith says.
The bunker is a 30,000 square foot centre with three metre-thick steel and tungsten reinforced walls. In other words, it’s the perfect place to hold data.
Smith bought the premises in 2003 although spent the next four years refurbishing the space. Despite being a lengthy project, Smith says it was much like refurbishing a normal office into a data centre. “It was like an office but totally underground,” he says. “We did things like refurbish generators and raise floors.”
One problem Smith encountered, however, had to do with communication because the bunker was “in the middle of nowhere”. Smith says Smartbunker partnered with BT to improve connectivity to the area. “It’s all very well having a nuclear bunker but if your connectivity with the outside world isn’t good, it makes a mockery of the whole thing.”