back to article Apple building 'tactical' data center with 'mantrap' doors

Apple has filed permit papers revealing that it plans to build a high-security "tactical" data center on the grounds of its humongous $1bn center in Maiden, North Carolina. Although dwarfed by the main Maiden data center's 500,000 square feet, the new 21,030 square foot building – budgeted for a mere $1,885,129, according to …


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  1. theJML

    Isn't this normal?

    All the Co-loc's I've been too have had "mantraps". I always figured this was a normal thing in most areas. Even the one we have here onsite has the same thing (though it looks like a hallway, as there are two entrances and two exists to the Data Center, all the doors can be locked remotely effectively trapping that person inside the hallway.

    1. Aaron Em

      Re: Isn't this normal?

      Can't say for 'normal', but the colo I visit most frequently just has a single set of fire doors and no "mantrap" hallway at all.

      That said, I used to work in a place where you'd have to walk through a double set both ways, and it'd weigh you each time; if you came out weighing as little as half an ounce more than you did on the way in, it'd lock up and signal a security guard to come over and see what the hell you were doing. Honestly I think that was overdoing it a bit, but apparently someone on the board of directors had a bug up his ass about security, so...

      1. jcrb

        Re: Isn't this normal?

        "Honestly I think that was overdoing it a bit, but apparently someone on the board of directors had a bug up his ass about security, so..."

        Or he was a big Douglas Adams fan.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Isn't this normal?

          I see what you did there!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't this normal?

        Nothing special here ... wards in mental health hospitals have interlocked doors. only we call them air locks.

      3. Wibble

        Re: Isn't this normal?

        > weigh you each way

        Yeah, that data you've got in that memory stick/hard disc is quite heavy:-)

      4. Eddy Ito

        Re: Isn't this normal?

        @Aaron Em,

        So what you're saying is that theft involved the consumption of an inordinate amount of coffee and burritos outside followed by a laxative moments before entering. Or did the facility not have facilities on the inside?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this normal?

      What you describe is not a man trap. Man traps are very small - only space for one person at a time and the outer door has to be closed before the inner can open. They are intended to make tail-gating impossible. Alternatives are turnstiles etc as used as sports stadiums.

      1. Nexox Enigma

        Re: Isn't this normal?

        I think you may be off base here. A man trap, as I've seen them, fits multiple people, but won't allow both doors to open at one time, so that in order to unlock the inner door, you have to close the outer door. Thus, if you fail the hand print / pass code / key card authentication, both doors lock, and you're stuck until the authorities get there.

        The goal is to slow people down, so nobody can get in or out of a secure location without plenty of time to be observed by security, and to catch absolutely everyone that attempts to enter without permission.

        And yes, as far as I've seen, most high end (expensive) data centers have these. I've heard it was to make them able to host certain types of government servers, but who knows how accurate that is. Either way, it's not really a unique or notable feature.

    3. Syx

      Re: Isn't this normal?

      I'm yet to enter a datacentre that didn't have 1-person mantrap doors (a "bubble"). And only one of them was not equipped with a scale in between the doors.

      I figured that it was normal.

    4. Chris 3

      Re: Isn't this normal?

      Same here; certainly the ones down in Docklands that I've been to... and that was about 10 years ago.

  2. Arctic fox
    Black Helicopters

    All they have to do now is.......... it underground and call it the "Hive".

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: All they have to do now is..........

      Isn't that the "Lair"

      You also have to install the mantrap on top of a large, transparent, piranha-filled tank, into which members of PUTA[1] regularly lower hapless Bernardiners, causing great consternation in the suits, BOFHs and PFYs trapped in the mantrap.

      [1]: People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I go through "mantrap" doors every time I visit the local branch of my bank. It's not that extraordinary.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Next they will patent the functions of the design and then look to sue most data centre companies for copying their design.

    Every data centre I've worked in has had man traps of one description or another.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Patented

      Not only data centres- I can think of a number of places that have them- the central office of any large bank, just about every casino ever made, and certain military installations have them. And not all mantraps are tiny rooms just big enough for one person- the traps are generally designed for a specific function which will generally dictate the size of the room needed.

      *Anon to protect my bottom line, obviously*

  5. Christoph

    North Carolina

    Presumably they picked that site as it's safe from sea level rise - the state government has passed a law telling the sea not to rise.

  6. Defcon Zero

    Apple build a datacentre with a feature identical to most other existing datacentres and it makes headline news on The Register. Sounds about right. What else they got? Generators?

  7. Medium Dave

    This would be interesting...

    ...if the mantraps in question were specced out by the BOFH. None of this run-of-the-mill locking door rubbish, but proper mantraps with spikes, napalm, and an anvil suspended by a frayed, elderly rope.

  8. Eddy Ito


    Still has to have a fire exit. Presumably they'll know when "Elvis" has left the building.

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