A Global Study of the Risk of Earthquakes to IXPs

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In this paper, we study the risk of earthquakes to global Internet infrastructure, namely Internet eXchange Point (IXP) facilities. Leveraging the CAIDA IXPs dataset and publicly available earthquake models and hazard computation tools, we find that more than 50% of the facilities have at least a 2% probability of experiencing potentially damaging levels of shaking, due to earthquakes, within a period of 50 years. Furthermore, we estimate that there is a 10% probability that at least 20 facilities will simultaneously experience potentially damaging levels of shaking within a period of 50 years. Fortunately, our analysis shows that IXPs that host many Autonomous Systems (ASes) tend to be located in less earthquake-prone areas, and that spreading out over multiple facilities significantly reduces the impact of earthquakes to IXPs. Following this observation, we propose a novel metric to help AS operators select peering facilities based on the probability of simultaneous facility failures. We show that applying our metric can significantly increase the resilience of individual ASes, as well as that of the Internet as a whole.