Market data: 2017 round-up

09 March 2018 |


The carrier wholesale market is an evolving industry with content moving closer to the edge and interconnection bandwidth set to surge. Capacity looks at some key trends from 2017, which includes the increasing threat of DDoS attacks

Akamai Technologies’ first quarter 2017 State of the Internet Report is based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform. 

The report provides insight into key global statistics such as connection speeds, broadband adoption metrics, notable Internet disruptions, IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 implementation.

“Increases in connection speeds and broadband penetration have helped enable the internet to support levels of traffic that even just a few years ago would have been unimaginable,” said David Belson, editor of the State of the Internet Report. 

“One need only look to January’s US Presidential Inauguration, which broke traffic records for live coverage of a single news event delivered by Akamai, largely thanks to the combination of more viewers watching at increasingly higher levels of video quality.”

Internet connectivity

Akamai saw a 0.9% quarterly increase in the number of unique IPv4 addresses connecting to the Akamai Intelligent Platform, rising to just over 814 million, about 7.6 million more than in the fourth quarter of 2016. About 5 million IPv4 addresses were depleted from available pools at the regional internet registries in the first quarter, leaving 39 million addresses remaining. Belgium remained the clear global leader in IPv6 adoption with 38% of its connections to Akamai for dual-stacked content over IPv6, down 19% from the previous quarter. 

DE-CIX and AMS-IX reach 5Tbps

Content provider networks increasingly supply content closer to the network edge in order to reduce latency for localised traffic. To support this effort, companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have strategically deployed proprietary data centres across the globe while also investing heavily in network and colocation infrastructure. 

Among the small group of content providers depicted here (right) by TeleGeography, 14 new proprietary data centres were deployed globally in 2016 , and a further 23 are scheduled for launch within the next few years. Core IXs peering points are hitting new peaks in traffic volumes, with DE-CIX (Frankfurt) and AMS-IX (Amsterdam) each exceeding 5Tbps in peak traffic levels. 

Interconnection bandwidth to hit 5,000Tbps by 2020

Interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a 45% CAGR to reach 5,000Tbps by 2020, dwarfing global IP traffic in both growth (24%) and volume (855Tbps), according to Equinix’s inaugural Global Interconnection Index.

Findings from the Global Interconnection Index, which has analysed the adoption profile of thousands of carrier-neutral colocation data centre providers and ecosystem participants globally, show that the capacity for private data exchange between businesses is forecasted to outpace the public internet by nearly two-times in growth and six-times in volume by 2020. It is also growing faster than Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), the legacy model of business connectivity, by a factor of 10 (45% to 4%).

“Interconnection bandwidth is expected to grow at a rapid pace over the next four years with growth across all regions predicted to grow 40% per annum or greater,” stated the report.

DDoS ATTACKS

Increase in frequency:

We have passed the first anniversary of what many believe to be one of the largest DDoS attacks recorded. Domain name service provider Dyn came under attack by two large and complex DDoS attacks against its managed DNS infrastructure. Because of the attacks, dozens of internet platforms and services – including major brands such as Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, Netflix and others – felt the significant ripple effect of service outages. 

Since that incident, other various large-scale DDoS attacks have made national or global headline news. However, those large-scale attacks are atypical of the types of disruptions that companies suffer from day to day. Frequent, modest-sized, short duration DDoS attacks are the modern-day problem, as they regularly cause the most damage. It’s these types of attacks on which businesses should focus. 

Corero has observed a jump in the frequency of attack attempts against customers. In Q3 2017, Corero customers experienced an average of 237 attacks a month, an increase of 35% compared with Q2 2017 (175 attacks). Worryingly, Corero saw an average of eight attack attempts per customer per day in Q3 2017 – double what was observed in Q1 2017.

Low volume, short duration attacks:

While the frequency of attacks is concerning, the size and duration of attacks are also important to call out. Roughly 96% of mitigated DDoS attacks were less than 5Gbps in volume, in both Q2 and Q3 2017. 

The average duration of DDoS attacks is also cause for concern: 65% of attacks in Q2 2017 lasted 10 minutes or less, and in Q3, 71% were 10 minutes or less.

While attacks lasting five minutes or less make up the majority of the attack attempts, we noticed that attacks lasting 21-30 minutes dropped by 50% (Q1 versus Q3). 

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