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Baghdad's Storage Bunker

5:30 PM -- If shipping tapes and paper records off to your archiving facility is a constant source of stress, then spare a thought for engineers in Iraq who are building a major data warehouse in the middle of a war zone. (See The Year in Insecurity, A Tale of Lost Tapes, and On the Brink of Storage Disaster.)

As the fledgling democracy teeters on the brink of civil war, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Iraqi civilian contractors are constructing a building to hold the country's legal records, including documents from Saddam Hussein's trial.

Work on the $1.8 million Secure Documents Storage Facility began back in August, and the site is designed to provide a safe storage area for documents from Iraq's Central Criminal Court. The climate-controlled, 2,500-square-meter structure in Baghdad will contain six 12.5-by-25 meter storage vaults, complete with concrete ceilings.

Even the recent problems at Iron Mountain, which suffered fires in two of its storage facilities during the summer, pale compared to the challenges of securing data in Iraq. (See Smoke Clears for Iron Mountain, Iron Mountain Feels the Heat, Archiving Goes to Blazes, and Storage in Wartime.) Sadly, (and, unsurprisingly) the Corps of Engineers' Website does not exactly provide a wealth of data on the Secure Documents Storage Facility. But one thing is for certain -- this is one site that will definitely hit the headlines if critical data suddenly goes up in smoke.

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Iron Mountain Inc.