As Irma Heads for Florida, One Miami Data Center is Especially Critical
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While data center providers in Houston weathered Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding without any publicly disclosed outages, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm headed for Florida, will be another stress test for the internet and private network infrastructure in the South. And because of Florida’s strategic importance to network connectivity, the stakes will be higher when Irma makes landfall in the Sunshine State, which the National Weather Service says will happen Sunday.
If some buildings in Irma’s path lose power, the effects on connectivity could ripple well beyond the region that immediately surrounds it. One particular building is especially critical.
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NAP of the Americas, the Miami data center and carrier hub, is the biggest network gateway between the US and Latin America, and companies in the US that rely on it alone to serve customers south of the border would not be able to reach those customers if it goes offline. In addition to being a cross-continental gateway, Miami, and especially the NAP, serves as the primary interconnection hub for most Latin American networks.
“Miami appears to be the only strategically critical communications node in the hurricane’s path,” Jon Hjembo, senior analyst at the telecommunications market research firm TeleGeography, said. “From a network perspective, what’s so worrisome about Irma targeting