The government of Bangladesh has drawn criticism for planning to build a flagship Tier IV data center in an earthquake prone district of Dhaka.
The Bangladesh Ministry of Information is planning to build the fifth largest data center in the world at Kaliakair, in the Gazipur district of Dhaka, according to reports in the Dhaka Tribune. The site is some 30km from where the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1000 people.
The flagship project, estimated to cost some Tk1,000 crore ($8 million) will be used to hold and process large amounts of government data. The chief of the technical negotiation committee, Ashraful Islam, told the Tribune that the site was not finalised yet, that the risk of earthquake damage would be account and appropriate measures would be taken to ensure the 99.995 percent uptime which is required for a Tier IV site.
The center is backed by China, and is to be built by ZTE. Information Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak has visited the site several times, with executives from ZTE Bangladesh, the Tribune said.
Bangladesh has other sites not vulnerable to seismic shock, such as the Jessore ICT Park, some 200km away, but locating the center there would increase the costs, the Ministry has said.
"Tier IV is not an amateur project; a multimillion dollar project like this can be established only to attract foreign business organisations and even other governments to deposit their data here and feel safe," an anonymous source warned the Tribune. "But if they found it is established on an earthquake prone zone, it will not be profitable for the Bangladesh government to establish it.”
If completed, this could be among the first Tier IV data centers in Asia, although Ctrl S has a Tier IV (design) facility in Hyderabad and GPX has a Tier IV design certified center in Mumbai.
Contacted by DatacenterDynamics, the Uptime Insitute said that earthquake risks are in fact outside the Tier certification scheme, saying: "The Tier Certification only addresses the site infrastructure – i.e. ensuring all of the design and equipment components meet the Tier criteria." Mitigating for seismic activity and other natural disasters falls under a different Uptime certification - for "Operational Sustainability" protocol.
DataCenterDynamics requested information form the Bangladesh Ministry of Information but had no response at the time of publication.