While Switzerland's banking system is increasingly under attack, another lucrative business has sprung up: Cloud storage. According to a survey of Financial Times, Switzerland is already dedicating 130'000 square meters to cloud storage facilities - the equivalent of 24 American football fields.
Digital Assets: The New Frontier?
Already placed second after Ireland in terms of per capita cloud storage, Switzerland seems to be well on the way to becoming Europe's biggest data warehouse. During the last century, wealthy heirs and investors from all over the world were seeking out Switzerland for the safeguarding of their monetary assets.
This time around, corporations such as Ebay, Facebook or Yahoo are flocking to Switzerland for some of the same reasons: Physical security, privacy laws protecting data, as well as availability of storage space.
Where to Store all that Data?
Deep inside those Swiss Alps are dozens of bunkers and vaults. During the Cold War era, the Swiss Army literally carved out hundreds of caves and storage facilities from the bare rock faces all throughout the mountains.
In the decades since, these shelters have largely been abandoned. But their remote location and cool climate make them perfectly suited for server farms.
Swiss Fort Knox - A Digital Fortress
One of these server farms we came across is Mount 10, located somewhere in the Bernese Alps. They offer secure cloud backups for private users and corporations. According to Christoph Oswald from Swiss Fort Knox, the demand for secure data storage has been increasing steadily.
Not only Swiss companies rely on the premise of rock steady backups, but corporations from more than 30 countries.
For those who want to preserve not only their digital footprint but also their genetic record, Swiss DNA Bank was the answer until recently. Buried in the depths of the Swiss Alps, this company would store DNA swabs for eternity. I am not convinced about the benefit of this, and apparently many others did not, either. The company is no longer in existence.
So there you have it: The Swiss have figured out how to fit a cloud inside a mountain!
(All pictures copyright Mount 10)