What is Blue Nap Americas?
Blue Nap Americas (Blue Nap) is a data center located in Curaçao. It’s the only data center of its kind on the island and in the Caribbean region certified by the Uptime Institute as a Tier-IV data center. The Tier-IV certification ensures that Blue Nap can guarantee the highest level of service with an uptime of 99.995%.
What is a data center?
A data center is a facility composed of networked computers, storage systems, and computing infrastructure that organizations use to assemble, process, store, and disseminate large amounts of data. Co-location is one of the most well-known services provided by a data center, it facilitates the centralization of an organization’s ICT equipment. This means if a business or organization has its own server room(s) or servers it uses to deliver services (internally or externally), it can house its server racks at the data center facility. When an organization chooses to lease co-location services, the services will include power supply, cooling, and security. In the case of Blue Nap, it gives businesses or organizations the assurance that their equipment is housed in a secure structure with high uptime availability and high resistance to natural disasters.
Much like AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft, Blue Nap also provides cloud services, like Disaster Recovery as a Service (DraaS), storage, and many additional services. DRaaS is disaster recovery hosted by a third party. It involves the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a data center to provide failover in the event of a natural disaster, power outage, or other disasters that affect business continuity. The basic premise of DRaaS is that in the event of a real disaster, the data center can support the customer in a worst-case disaster recovery scenario, in which a disaster results in a complete shutdown of the customer’s physical facilities or computing resources, in resuming their operations in a short time span. The client’s employees will also be able to temporarily work at the Blue Nap facilities’ flex workspaces, with direct access to the company information that is already hosted in the Blue Nap Private Cloud environment.
Blue Nap provides these services to both local and international clients. Among Blue Nap’s clients who subscribe to its DRaaS are world-renowned organizations and several governments in the Caribbean.
How did the center get its start?
The e-commerce market developments, in addition to the rapid need for secure data center services and safe data storage, formed the foundation for the vision that led to the creation of what we know today as Blue Nap, a flagship data center. Since the 1600s, Curaçao has served as a regional distribution hub for goods and services throughout its history. Given this backdrop and the state of e-commerce at the time, as well as the island’s level of connectivity, the construction of a state-of-the-art data center in favor of transforming Curaçao into a regional data distribution hub was deemed a great opportunity. This vision was supported by the upcoming trend of companies like AWS, Google, Microsoft, and others, leading to the conclusion that a cutting-edge certified Tier-IV data center in Curaçao would most certainly benefit the island’s economic development, contributing both locally and internationally to the industry.
What do Blue Nap’s services mean for the position of Curaçao in the region?
Currently, economies around the world are at different stages of digital transformation. As a result of this digital transformation, data now plays a critical role in informed decision-making and has become the lifeblood of the economy as well as the driver of innovation. Data also has the potential to enable economic growth and is an instrument to address societal challenges. An organization like Blue Nap has merit solely based on these developments. The role of information has become critical in digital societies, and, as such, the importance of storing, managing, and protecting information, in general, has increased dramatically. Blue Nap has the capacity to function as a repository for governments and companies from the entire Caribbean region.
But to function as the go-to data center for data storage, management, and protection, the data center must have a secure, robust, high capacity, and low latency connectivity to the jurisdictions of the potential clients it wants to serve. For instance, for someone to confidently place their storage and servers in Curaçao, they must be certain they can consistently communicate with those servers. Additionally, you need a skilled workforce to competently manage this service and the connections it requires, and this is where specialized skillsets of knowledge workers like application developers, network engineers, and cybersecurity engineers come into play. In addition to these elements, a strong legislative and legal framework is also needed for data protection and security to give foreign and local entities the assurance that their data will be handled ethically and responsibly when stored and managed from Curaçao.
Curaçao’s favorable geographical location, the island’s excellent local connectivity and optimal aerial connection with the United States and Europe, are also key added values. All of this lends a significant opportunity to the Curaçao government’s goal of establishing the island as a regional digital hub. Blue Nap is a critical part of all these moving pieces that contribute to the high value and quality of Curaçao’s digital economy and the overall economy of the Caribbean region.
What is the organizational structure of Blue Nap?
Blue Nap’s human resource structure starts with its management team, who together have more than 45 years of data and telecom services experience. Reporting to management is a full technical department, in charge of performing maintenance in various areas of the data center to meet the requirements of maintaining the Tier-IV certificate status. This includes all data center services like co-location, storage, managed services, and security. This technical team also includes a team that is responsible for data center facilities like access control, generators, UPS’s, air control, and others. In addition, the Blue Nap organization comprises an administrative department and a business development and sales team.
What does the future look like for Blue Nap?
The island’s ongoing digital transformation will be crucial for future developments. The future of Blue Nap cannot be seen as separate from the future of Curaçao because its activities are a requirement for many other facets of the island’s transition towards a digital economy; starting with e-government services for businesses. Blue Nap is facilitating elements that form a basic requirement in this setting. The government has already taken the initial steps in its efforts toward further digitalization; its work with the island’s ministry of education is a prime example of this. Blue Nap was instrumental in this process.
The education system digitalization commission encompasses all the public schools on the island, with 8 school boards, the Government’s Ministry of Education, the education inspection department, and other key related organizations. The Ministry of Education approved the creation of an eco-system that connects all schools, school boards, and the ministry itself to each other. This eco-system enables a level of standardization that facilitates the exchange of information, the cross-checking of double registrations, and the dissemination of operational reports. Blue Nap’s facilities host all this information.
In doing so, they are working together towards a common goal, centralizing information, putting systems in place to manage this information, and guaranteeing that data will always be secure when being processed and stored in the eco-system.
A successful digital economy
To achieve a successful digital economy, Curaçao has to take advantage of its access to great connectivity, which includes a strong submarine cable network that links the island to the rest of the world, good and affordable local connectivity, and a strong legislative framework in support of all aspects impacting the development of the digital economy like data and information protection and security, electronic communication, and much more. Also, the island needs a legal framework and processes to facilitate the immigration of educated foreign professionals to the island to contribute to the development of its economy. In addition to digital knowledge, the island must also seek professionals with experience to deliver high-quality digital services. Fortunately, the island is now moving in the right direction in this regard as well as in the area of becoming a digital service provider for the whole Caribbean region, which is home to more than 30 million people.