Concertina wire, thick cement walls, hardened windows, a fireproof interior, hundreds of monitoring cameras.
A military headquarters? No – the underground home of the new servers for the popular social networking web site Nasza-klasa.
The servers, which have much more capacity than the previous ones, are under the Stary Browar, or Old Brewery, in Poznan.
One of the most popular web sites in Poland, Nasza-klasa helps Poles find people they went to school with.
The number of users has reached 6 mln and is growing daily. The Poznan-based company Beyond.pl takes care of the servers for the web site.
The facility that it opened beneath the brewery in September is west Poland’s biggest and most advanced hi-tech server center. Its 8,000 square meters of space will hold thousands of servers some day.
One of Beyond.pl’s duties is to ensure that the servers have an uninterrupted supply of electricity. Another is to ensure the security of the sites it hosts against hackers or visitors wanting to post objectionable material.
Another web site, Allegro, the Polish eBay, also has its servers in the underground data center.
Nasza-klasa decided to switch servers because those it was using before – in Frankfurt – didn’t have the capacity to handle the surge in users.
Also, having servers in Germany meant Nasza-klasa was unable to assure the site’s quality or to evolve and branch out, Nasza-klasa President Bartlomiej Jarocki told the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.
So “we gave up the idea of renting servers from a German company” and bought our own, he said.
The new servers are already handling the web site traffic, but there are start-up glitches. The problems are expected to be ironed out before the end of the month, the company says.
Jarocki said he hopes users are patient because the shift to the new servers is a revolutionary move for the better for the site. He said the technical staff is working hard on the glitches so that soon “everything will work like a Swiss watch.”