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France v Morocco kicks DE-CIX to record 14Tbps high

Inside DE-CIX

DE-CIX Frankfurt, Europe’s largest internet exchange, set a record for data throughput during Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final between France and Morocco.

Traffic flowing over the exchange hit 14.4Tbps at 21:00 CET (20:00 GMT, 15:00 EST), said DE-CIX.

“With this new record, data traffic on the Frankfurt Internet Exchange at peak times has risen by 33% this year alone, and by more than 70% since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020,” said exchange.

CTO Thomas King said: “Normally – at least, before Covid-19 – the major internet exchanges were growing at about 10% a year. Such strong growth in such a short time is the result of more and more people using streaming services, for example to live-stream sports events or play online games.”

That was the case during the match, when France beat Morocco 2–0. But as the chart shows, five years ago traffic was hovering around 6Tbps, and over 2022 it has continued its steady climb to 14.4Tbps. The traffic level reached 12Tbps in early August, and 13Tbps in early September.

DE-CIX Frankfurt Dec 2022.jpg

It’s not just streaming, said King. “Simultaneous rollouts of software updates for computers or smartphones mean that data throughput is going through the roof.”

On the load limits of the DE-CIX infrastructure, King said: “We always keep at least 25% additional capacity available for such eventualities. In the long term, we always expand our capacity once we reach 65% of existing capacity. The remaining 35% is needed both for redundancy and to ensure there is always sufficient room for traffic growth.”

In all of last year the Frankfurt exchange had a data volume of just shy of 30 exabytes.