leading Internet Exchange operator, measured a significant increase in its
traffic in 2021. A total of more than 38 exabytes of data were exchanged at the
global DE-CIX Internet Exchanges in 2021. 38
exabytes is equivalent to the storage capacity of more than 300 million
smartphones, each with 128 GB of storage space, or the data volume consumed by
the population of a small city if every inhabitant where to spend their entire
life watching a video stream in HD quality. Compared with the previous year and
the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the figure has increased by around 20
percent. In 2020, the total data throughput was 32 exabytes.
“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 Dr.
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.”
The data throughput of video
conferences via the Internet Exchange in Frankfurt was especially high in the
first months of the year, up to the end of lockdown and contact restrictions.
In the summer months, with lower infection rates and vacation time, however, it
was only half as much as at the beginning of the year. For video streaming via
Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video and others, the distribution was
similar, but with smaller seasonal differences. The picture was different for
gaming traffic: Here, the final months of the year saw new peaks.
DE-CIX in Frankfurt is one of the
largest Internet Exchanges in the world, with over 29 exabytes of data traffic
in 2021, a peak data throughput of nearly 11 terabits per second (Tbps), and
over 1100 connected networks. DE-CIX currently operates a total of 32 Internet
Exchanges worldwide, either alone or in various cooperation and partnership
Some background information: How
much is 38 exabytes?
The transmission speed of data is specified in terabits per second
- 1 terabit per second is 10³ Gbit/s, 106 Mbit/s, 109
kbit/s, or 1012 bit/s, or 1,000,000,000,000 bit/s.
- 8 Terabits = 1 Terabyte (TB) and 1,000,000 TB = 1 Exabyte (EB)
- 38 EB is the storage capacity of more than 300 million smartphones (each
with 128 GB of storage). If you were to place that number of smartphones
end-to-end, they would more or less reach around the Earth at the equator.
- 38 EB is the data volume of a video stream in HD quality lasting nearly
1.5 million years. This corresponds to the data volume that a small city with a
population of around 18,000 would consume if every inhabitant streamed an HD
video for their entire life.
Source: DE-CIX media announcement