Volcanic island wants to host your data

SecurStore is trying to tempt companies to store their data in Reykjavik. But won't Iceland's volcanoes be a problem?
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

An offshore data backup company is urging UK and US companies to store their data in Iceland -- a country renowned for its volcanoes.

SecurStore, which hosts the Icelandic arm of Vodafone (Og Vodafone), is attempting to attract customers to what it calls a storage "safe-haven" for firms.

"I guess it's not a good business strategy to put a data centre on the top of a volcano," said Alexander Eiriksson, president of SecurStore. "A lot of people think that Iceland is a volcano with a bit of ice. We're not like that. The volcanoes are hundreds of kilometres away from us. It's very safe."

Iceland lies between the UK and North America on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a tectonic fault line where the North American and the Eurasian plates are separating. The data centres are based around Reykjavik, the capital city of the country.

Cambridge University experts agreed with Eiriksson that the volcanoes pose little risk to SecurStore's business.

"There are volcanoes," said David Pyle, a vulcanologist at Cambridge University. "There have been several eruptions in the last decade. Typically, these eruptions occur very quickly. But the volcanoes that have erupted are relatively remote and there haven’t been any serious eruptions since the 1970s on the peninsula. I'm not aware of there being any serious damage on Iceland."

SecurStore is building its services on the back of storage software company Asigra's technology. The service is intended to allow companies to backup and retrieve data in near-real time speeds.

The company claims that Iceland's optical fibre network could be a cheap option for European businesses.

"There's no terrorist activity here," said Alexander Eiriksson, President of SecurStore. "No one wants to come here -- it's very low risk. We're in a good spot, with cheap power and low-cost fibre running through. We are talking to service providers in Europe and America so they can offer the service to their customers."

SecurStore is also set to offer managed security services.

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