Feeds

Hong Kong plans cavernous underground data centres

Going underground

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Hong Kong government is looking at a novel way of creating new space in which to build data centres in the tiny Special Administrative Region (SAR): digging purpose-built caves.

Speaking at the Datacentre Space Asia conference in the SARon Thursday, Hilary Cordell of local real estate law firm Cordells revealed that plans for the subterranean data dungeons are progressing.

“Rock cavern development can be done, and datacentre use is a particularly good one,” she added. “It’s on the government’s radar screen and it’s taking active steps but it’s not easy and some sites will be more suitable than others.”

The environmental impact of construction could be high, as water tables may need to be lowered and toxic materials removed. But the theory is otherwise sound, Cordell said.

“Legally the person who owns the ground owns everything underneath to the centre of the earth and everything above to the heavens, so it’s perfectly possible for ownership to be divided according to different strata,” said Cordell.

In an initial feasibility report (PDF) published last year, engineering consultancy Arup went so far as to claim underground facilities in Hong Kong would benefit data centre owners by increasing security, “as it reduces the risk of accidental impact, blast and acts of terrorism”.

Arup found two-thirds of the territory has land of “high to medium suitability” for digging rock caverns.

Five areas with an area of over 20 hectares apiece have been selected in the report as “strategic cavern areas” which could each technically accommodate multiple cavern sites. These are on Hong Kong island (Mt Davis); Kowloon (Lion Rock); New Territories (Tuen Mun and Sha Tin); and Lantau (Siu Ho Wan).

Hong Kong rock cavern diagram

What a Hong Kong rock cavern site could look like. (Credit: Arup)

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Engineering hurdles

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.