Fiber optic cables are fitted to a server, replacing slower copper cabling. Copper is still prevalent in many data centers but fiber optic cable (thin strands of silica glass) replaces copper where greater bandwidth is needed.
Fiber optic cables are fitted to a server, replacing slower copper cabling. Copper is still prevalent in many data centers but fiber optic cable (thin strands of silica glass) replaces copper where greater bandwidth is needed.Peter Garritano
Fiber optic cables are fitted to a server, replacing slower copper cabling. Copper is still prevalent in many data centers but fiber optic cable (thin strands of silica glass) replaces copper where greater bandwidth is needed.
Servers racks inside a peering exchange at 85 10th ave, where large networks exchange traffic with others when a mutual benefit exists. These facilities are "carrier neutral" so that any carrier can exchange traffic with another- a policy which and makes peering efficient.
Ceiling tiles removed for maintenance reveal various conduit-- both fiber cabling and utility lines.
Twisted pair copper cables form a dense mesh around a technician at 60 Hudson in a concentrated central hub aptly dubbed The Nest.  Beneath the grey housing each cable is color coded and labeled to indicate its function.
A network operations center (NOC) where a facility is monitored and controlled 24/7. Many issues can be resolved remotely but systems administrators are always on site in case physical changes need to be made.
Fans move heat exhaust off the roof at 60 Hudson street. Nearby, the large brick AT&T Long Distance Building at 32 Avenue of the Americas (foreground, right) is also host to a dense hub of internet infrastructure, colocation centers and peering exchanges.
A floor of open racks is used for servers that don't require the additional security of locking cabinets or wire cages. Space on these racks is generally leased to smaller clients who don't require larger private cages and is maintained by on-site administrators.
Biometric scanners within double locking doors ("mantraps") are common protections when entering a facility or moving between floors.
20-cylinder diesel engines kick on to keep systems running if primary utilities fail.
Technical drawings on a whiteboard.
Fiber optic cables enter and exit carrier hotels through underground vaults. Some of these cables run local connections, others are on their way to eventually cross the Atlantic via landing stations in New York and New Jersey. Various networks and service providers pay for access to carrier hotels through the the conduit in these fiber vaults.
Fiber optic cables are fitted to a server, replacing slower copper cabling. Copper is still prevalent in many data cente
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Peter Garritano
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Inside the Secret ‘Hotels’ Where the Internet Lives

Apr 04, 2016

Almost 90 years ago, Manhattan's 60 Hudson Street was the nerve center for the most vital communications system in the world: the telegram. Today, the medium has changed, but the mission remains the same. The building at 60 Hudson is now the home of the Internet.

Well, part of the Internet. The 24-story art-deco building is what’s known as a “carrier hotel,” a hub where telecommunications companies exchange Internet traffic to boost efficiency. There are five such hotels scattered around New York, according to Wired, housing everything from large Internet Service Providers like AT&T, to consumer tech giants like Google, to tiny startups in need of server space and blazing-fast speeds.

The hotels are closely guarded, as you might expect for such vital infrastructure. Security guards, retina scanners and "mantraps," which keep possible intruders detained until they are apprehended, are just some of the facilities' defensive mechanisms.

But photographer Peter Garritano was granted access to five of the New York facilities, gaining an inside look at the physical space that helps carry the digital content we summon every day. The rooms are full of snaking wires, endlessly stacked boxes of servers and massive diesel engines ready to churn to life in case of power failure. The Internet may feel weightless, but it has mass, volume and even temperature—60 Hudson’s roof is lined with fans to help remove heat exhaust.

The Internet’s physical presence will only grow from here. There are already more than 3 million data centers in the United States. With U.S. Internet traffic expected to nearly double by 2019, there are doubt be many more to come.

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