Hurricane Irma, a massive hurricane of unprecedented strength, hit the southern coast of the U.S., particularly Florida, over the last few days. Companies with data centers in the region most likely prepared for potential impact of wind and water damage to the area. One such data center is Equinix’s NAP of the Americas (also known as MI1), which is located in Miami.
The MI1 facility provides access for the Caribbean, South and Central America to “to more than 148 countries worldwide,” and is the primary network exchange between Latin America and the U.S., according to Equinix. Any outage in this data center could potentially cripple businesses passing information between these locations. The extent of damage to this data center is currently unknown but we did speak with someone in the Equinix office in California that says the data center does have staff in the facility “working round-the-clock to keep the center online.”
MI1 also provides connectivity to carriers like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon, making it a mission-critical pathway for telecommunications across these networks for the aforementioned regions.
However, as the Equinix website states, the facility is built to withstand up to Category 5 hurricane-level winds (at the time of writing, Hurricane Irma is a Category 4). It also is built 32 feet above sea-level, providing some defense against storm surge and flooding.
Still, businesses reliant on the M1 data center should be aware of the effects of the storm. While M1 appears to be well-prepared for this form of natural disaster, even the best preparation may not have been enough for this unpredictable storm.