Ozark Mountain Data Bunker Gets Tenant

A former mine built into the side of a dolomite mountain in the Ozarks will house backup data for thousands of financial institutions. Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY), which provides IT automation and processes ATM and debit card transactions for 8,700 banks and credit unions, will house its backup data center in The Mountain Complex, a mission-critical facility located just outside Branson, Missouri.

The Mountain Complex is a 3 million square foot storage center complex, with about 300,000 square feet of space under development as mission-critical data center space. Jack Henry will consolidate disaster recovery operations from six sites around the country, CEO Jack Prim told local media.

The Mountain Complex has offered co-location and off-site data storage for about a year through an alliance with CenturyTel. The facility is above ground and built in the side of a mountain, allowing for a constant 65 degree temperature without some of the challenges associated with underground facilities. The site has 34-foot ceilings, and doesn’t allow trucks or trains inside to protect air quality, according to the company web site.

The Mountain Complex joins a growing list of underground data center facilities seeking to attract disaster recovery business. They include:

  • StrataSpace, a 500,000 square foot underground data center outsider Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The SpringNet Underground, as 56,000 square foot data center located 85 feet underground in a limestone cave near Springfield, Missouri.
  • Cavern Technologies, a 200,000 square foot facility near Kansas City that is 125 feet underground.
  • The InfoBunker, a 65,000 square foot ultra-secure underground data center in Iowa, built in a decommissioned Air Force bunker.
  • The Westlin Data Center, which provides 40,000 square feet of underground data center and office space in Lake Conroe, Texas.
  • The Bunker is a 10-year old ultra-secure colo facility built in a former nuclear bunker in Newbury, England.
  • Iron Mountain has a data center within its huge underground records storage facility near Pittsburgh, previously known as the National Underground.
  • Mountains West Exploration Inc. (MXWI) entered the data center business last month with the acquisition of Secured Digital Storage, and plans to develop former military ammunition bunkers as ultra-secure storage.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.