Deltalis: King of the data centre mountain

By Václav Němec

With the data centre industry more competitive than ever, businesses are looking for ways to gain natural advantages to bolster their ever-evolving technological ones.

The facilities themselves, and the surrounding environments, have now become a priority for a variety of reasons. The Bunker in Kent, England, boasts high security and protection against many kinds of attack thanks to being housed in an ex-Royal Air Force facility, and the Data Shelter in Florida, US, has been dubbed ‘the Fort Knox of colocation facilities’.

But no data centre business can boast the levels of competitive advantage that Deltalis can.

The Swiss company’s Uri data centre is in an ex-military bunker nestled within a mountain. Not only did the bare bones of the facility already exist, limiting the amount of building required, but the mountain provides a natural cooling system thanks to 730,000 litres of water with a constant temperature of 14 degrees.

“The facility itself had some key features that were just perfect to turn into a data centre,” said Frank Harzheim, CEO and General Manager of Deltalis.

These features also include the mountain lying directly atop Europe’s main internet backbone between Zurich and Milan, ensuring high-quality connectivity at all times; enormous volumes of wind and hydro energy that ensure more green energy is produced than Deltalis can possibly use; and enviable certifications that only a facility of this kind could acquire.

“We got the mandatory certifications that are needed, like ISO27001,” Harzheim explained, “but it doesn’t differentiate you in the market.”

What truly does differentiate a business like Deltalis is protection from electro-magnetic pulses, which are devastating for data centres: “Only a few data centres in the world can claim they are military-grade EMP protected and certified.”

Extensive further testing ensured Deltalis is able to claim higher levels of security than any other facility in Europe – perhaps the world – and this is paramount for Harzheim.

“The most important aspect of this business is security, both digital and physical,” he said. “People want a place they can store their data knowing it’s there and only there. Then they start to say ‘I love this application, but I only want it if I know it’s physically secure in the right place, and in the right country’. That’s an issue we see.

“Location is so important at the moment, and we have the right answer for it.”

To read the full article in Business Review Europe, click here.


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