The Physical World Of The Internet
- Length: 1:45 minutes (1.6 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
August 21, 2012
Interview with Andrew Blum, author of the book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
Andrew Blum, author of the book Tubes
There are about a dozen buildings around the world that are the most important meeting places of networks. Those are buildings like a campus called Equinix in Ashburn Virginia near Dulles Airport like 60 Hudson Street lower Manhattan like Telehouse in the Docklands in London.
And you may have never imagined this but the internet has a smell.
There’s a very distinctive smell to these internet buildings somewhere kind of a cross between a burnt toast and a new car smell kind of a plastic off gassings. Every time you walk into one of these buildings in the internet you’re greeting with by this same very familiar smell.
And Andrew found that the internet is actually managed by very few people. For example Microsoft has 90 thousand employees worldwide.
And I asked somebody there I said, “How many of those people are involved with Microsoft’s internet work with running their own network?” And the answer is about 200 and then I asked how many of those 200 people are involved with the connections between Microsoft’s network and other networks. And the answer was 5 who are fully engaged with this process of connecting 1 internet network to another internet network.