Akamai sets another traffic record with Fortnite

red traffic light
Traffic overwhelmed Fortnite's servers. (Kai Kalhh)

Akamai has been seeing media consumption not just growing but jumping like crazy. The company previously reported that the total amount of traffic of the entire 2014 FIFA World Cup was exceeded after just the first 10 days of the 2018 event that concluded on Sunday. Then on Friday, Akamai said it set a new record on the immediately preceding day (July 12) for the peak level of traffic delivered for a single video game on its network, at more than 37 Tbps peak across all platforms.

“This massive influx of traffic was driven by the launch of Epic Games' cultural phenomenon: Fortnite, which launched its Season 5 on Thursday,” according to an Akamai blog. “To put this into perspective, this level of traffic would be like downloading the average mobile game 2.8 million times per minute.”

The traffic was so voluminous that Epic had to shut down its Pro-Am Fortnite tournament after just a few days because of chronic lag, according to Abacus News. The problem was attributed not to the network, but to Epic’s game servers.

Data traffic keeps accelerating. What a surprise, right? But the rate of acceleration never ceases to boggle. Cogent Communications recently reported it saw 35% year-over-year growth in traffic on its network.

Limelight Networks announced it had delivered record online traffic levels in December 2017, a 21% increase over its previous record set in November 2017, and a 23% increase from December 2016.

Looking at all of this activity, Wall Street research firm Oppenheimer did its own estimate and determined that all traffic growth across the board on the internet is "growing in the mid-20% area.”

So data traffic keeps accelerating. While that shouldn’t surprise anyone at all, it can be profitable to keep in mind what that means for any company directly involved with cloud infrastructure. To put a fine point on it, it means ongoing profit, the astute folks at Oppenheimer reminded. Oppenheimer tracks Cogent, Akamai, Limelight and other cloud infrastructure companies.