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Ozark Mountain Data Bunker Gets Tenant

Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY), which processes ATM transactions for banks, will house its backup data center in a former mine in the Ozarks.

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.