Elizabeth Sanderson and Nick Craven
Last updated during 10:05 PM on 15th Oct 2011
It’s frequency a many glamorous of locations nor, indeed, a many considerable of buildings.
Three storeys high and done of potion and steel, a columns outward demeanour trashy and a two box plants presumably side of a revolving doors are branch brownish-red during a edges.
Yet it is here, during 200 Bath Road, usually off Junction 6 of a M4, that BlackBerry has selected as a European headquarters. Which means that this unprepossessing bureau block, conflicting a bonus golf superstore and a DFS warehouse, was a epicentre of final week’s BlackBerry meltdown that widespread conflicting 5 continents.
Eye of a storm: BlackBerry’s European domicile in Slough
For 3 days, during slightest 10 million of the company’s 70million users could not make full use of their smartphones after a company’s ‘core switch’ failed. Everyone from CEOs to text-addicted teenagers was left electronically stranded, incompetent to send or accept emails or present messages.
There was no entrance to a internet either. Some were angry, others distraught – some jokingly pronounced they now accepted what it meant to feel genuine fear.
But what began as a teenager nuisance final Monday had incited into an general failure by Tuesday morning. First it was Europe and a Middle East that were affected, afterwards it widespread to India and Latin America.
In a prohibited seat: Stephen Bates, UK handling executive of primogenitor association RIM
By Wednesday it had reached America and Canada, where Research in Motion (RIM), a creator of BlackBerry, is based. Although it is now fixed, a ‘outage’ led to mislaid capability during businesses around a world.
And all since of a malfunction here in Slough. It doesn’t seem probable that so many countries and continents could rest on one building for their communications, let alone this one, that sits in the center of a trade estate so apocalyptic it desirous Ricky Gervais to write his strike comedy The Office. It was here that his paper company, Wernham Hogg, with a sign ‘Life is stationery’, was based.
Ironically, it was BlackBerry’s attempts to be some-more secure than a competitors that led to this mess.
Other smartphones track all their information by a conduit or phone network, such as Vodafone or Orange. BlackBerry’s information is routed by a conduit to a possess network where it is encrypted and afterwards sent behind to a conduit again.
In other words, all a hundreds of millions of messages that users send any day are sent here to 200 Bath Road. According to BlackBerry representatives, a problem occurred when a ‘core switch’ failed.
This is a array of specialised computers that channel information around a network – a bit like a high-tech postal classification office.
The core switch is partial of a information centre that houses all a information that passes by a BlackBerry. Data centres are strangely fascinating places. The WikiLeaks information centre is during Pionen, in Stockholm, a unconventional high-security fort 100ft next belligerent that looks like a set from a James Bond movie.
Another information centre, famous as SuperNAP, is a immeasurable trickery covering 36,000 sq yards underneath a Las Vegas strip. Visitors are greeted by pistol-toting guards with troops backgrounds who ensure their any move.
Utilitarian: A look inside BlackBerry’s Slough offices
The usually thing we were greeted with when we visited 200 Bath Road final week was a grouchy confidence ensure who told us to get off his forecourt. A discerning look by a doorway reveals a really normal reception. There is no marble foyer, usually a accepting table and goal matter emblazoned with a vast purple BlackBerry trademark declaring: ‘Do What You – LIVE – What You Do.’
Whether it creates clarity to a 3,000 or so employees who pass it any day, is anyone’s guess. For a past week no one would pronounce to us. Not even a male in a mobile burger outpost sitting outward Carpet Right. Throughout a day immature group went in and out of a building like a cluster of ants. They were mostly immature and they were all wearing a identical uniform of jeans, trainers and T-shirts.
They all carried laptop bags and – of march – their employer-issued giveaway BlackBerrys (no matter that they were of really singular use to them). None of them would speak to us about a blackout. Nor would they tell us where a information centre was based.
Was it, like Pionen, in a tip fort that stretched out next BlackBerry and conflicting a highway to DFS? Or maybe on a third building conflicting marketing? Could it presumably be housed in a room kept during a heat many degrees next zero, wreathed in argon gas, emitting a low hum? Or is that merely a things of civic legend?
Unfortunately, we shall never know. Companies such as BlackBerry and Apple are notoriously secretive. Head bureau refused to criticism and a building itself gave no clues.
At a back, behind a automobile park, there is a vast gated yard. Six good petrify squares shuddered and issued a consistent throb. Above them, on platforms were 4 chillers, labelled A, B, C and D.
At initial we suspicion we had found a information centre. Sadly though, it was usually a cooling system. Where a information is formed stays a mystery. Perhaps one of a usually mysteries Slough has ever had.
As a comedian Jimmy Carr jokes: ‘If we wish to know what Slough was like in a Seventies, go there now.’ Yet somewhere on this drab industrial estate is a room containing improbable amounts of a world’s practical information.
That, surely, is progress.
Print this article
Email to a friend
Share this article:
Here’s what readers have had to contend so far. Why not supplement your thoughts below,
or discuss this emanate live on a summary boards.
The comments next have not been moderated.
It’s a illusory looking bureau block. DM gets it wrong again.
Nice article, generally by a DM’s standards. we wouldn’t call that bureau retard drab though; it looks utterly complicated and plush. I’m certain there’s most worse offices around.
I work usually along from this bureau and a usually thing to be gleaned from this news is that a Mail contributor who was sent along had no bargain of a problem and positively zero to see or to contend about it. If we take any doubt and suppositional criticism out of a news above we realize what a bad pursuit of stating this indeed is. no credentials bargain of how tellurian networks operate, no bargain of what partial a Slough bureau plays adn no bargain of what has happened and is happening. A rubbish of time and money.
The views voiced in a essence above are those of a users and do not indispensably simulate a views of MailOnline.
Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049582/Drab-office-block-just-M4-epicentre-global-meltdown-Unlikely-HQ-3-000-staff-battling-make-BlackBerry-work-week.html?ito=feeds-newsxml