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27 Jan 2022
DC-CIX: global data traffic stabilized in 2021 at a high level
Global data traffic remains at a very high level even as many countries around the world are trying to return to normal economic activity, according to DE-CIX, one of the largest internet exchange companies in the world. Data traffic flowing through its global network of internet exchanges reached 35 exabytes of data in 2021.
After COVID-19 hit and many countries went into lockdown, the amount of data moving through Internet exchanges rapidly increased as people started working from home, using video calls, and many SaaS applications. “Overall, global data traffic stabilized at a high level in 2021, after the outbreak of the pandemic and the record-breaking year in 2020, and continues to grow steadily,” says Christoph Dietzel, Global Head of Products & Research at DE-CIX. “This shows that concepts such as work-from-home with video conferencing, and home entertainment with video streaming and gaming, have become established in everyday life, and this growth will only continue.”
Data throughput of video conferences on the Frankfurt Internet Exchange was especially high in the first months of 2021, until the end of the first series of lockdowns and contact restrictions in Germany and several other parts of the world. During the summer in the southern hemisphere, with lower infection rates and more vacation time, however, it was only half as much as at the beginning of the year. With streaming video via Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and others, the distribution was similar, but with smaller seasonal differences. For gaming traffic, the picture was different. During the fourth quarter, gaming traffic peaked.
With 29 exabytes of data traffic in 2021, a peak data throughput of nearly 11 terabits per second (Tbps), and over 1100 networks connected, DE-CIX is one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world. At present, DE-CIX operates 32 Internet Exchanges worldwide, either alone or in various cooperative and partnership models. The Germany-based company is not the only Internet exchange to report very high data volumes. Two years after the pandemic began, the Amsterdam Internet Exchange - the world's largest internet exchange by number of connected networks and traffic volume - continues to report steady year-over-year growth in data traffic on its website.
Particularly internet service providers struggled to keep up when the world switched to work-from-home almost overnight after COVID-19 hit. The number of outages rose rapidly in several parts of the world. In March 2020, the number of internet outages increased 63% over January, with some parts of Asia experiencing almost a doubling of the number of outages. Using data from ThousandEyes, NetworkWorld's weekly Internet health monitor shows that outages have now stabilized somewhat, though they still fluctuate from week to week.
Photo credit: DE-CIX
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