Akamai – a content delivery network, cybersecurity and cloud service provider – claimed a massive new 200 Tbps web traffic peak across its network last week.
“Here's another way to look at it: If one cup of coffee is equal to 1 megabyte, then 200 Tbps would give everyone in New York City more than 180 cups of coffee per minute,” wrote Adam Karon, general manager of the edge technology group at Akamai, in a blog post. He added that his company’s new traffic peak is likely “more than the entire (reported) network capacities of multiple Akamai competitors combined.”
It’s significantly higher than the 181 Tbps peak traffic record that Akamai claimed during the fourth quarter of 2020.
As demand for streaming video has skyrocketed along with the need for widescale downloads and security, traffic on Akamai’s CDN has spiked. The company said it first hit 1 Tbps in June 2008, then 10 Tbps in September 2012 and 100 Tbps in October 2019.
During Akamai’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Tom Leighton said his company saw a big pandemic-related spike in traffic throughout 2020.
“We believe the pandemic has accelerated consumer usage of the Internet in areas like OTT video, gaming and e-commerce, and we believe this usage pattern will likely persist going forward,” said Leighton. “However, we expect to see traffic continue to grow in 2021 but at a rate more in line with pre-2020 historical levels.”
Akamai warned that beginning in the second quarter of 2021 it will start to see tougher traffic comparisons due to the significant ramp up from 2020.