Everything you know about the Internet is wrong. Virtual? Try physical. “The cloud”? Try the ground. Our beloved information superhighway has very real exits. Behold the “carrier hotel.”
You’ve got to admit, the concept of “the cloud” is one heck of a marketing coup. Somehow technology companies got the world to think that the Internet is as ubiquitous and fleeting as patterns of water vapor in the sky. But the Internet is far from gossamer—it’s a jumble of copper cables and server stacks wrapped in the windowless walls of hulking urban structures. There are indeed interchanges on our infobahn, and they’re called Internet exchange points, or IXPs—or colloquially, “carrier hotels.” They are ultra-secure buildings that serve as nodes on a network that spans continents. They help connect Internet service providers to one another. They are the real “cloud.” Here’s a look at six of the world’s largest Read More.