AMS-IX, LINX record new traffic peaks

12 April 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Two of the world's largest internet exchanges recorded new traffic records in the last week.

The Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) recorded a traffic peak of 10,012 Terabit per second (Tbps) on the evening of 8 April. Although a staggering volume, AMS-IX said it was "well capable of handling the traffic growth and is even able to handle traffic volume if it was the double over night".

CEO Peter van Burgel commented: “The pandemic has resulted in internet growth that makes us go back to the end of the 90s. Last year internet volume exchanged over AMS-IX grew over 35% and we see the same pattern for this year. We live in uncertain times, but you can be sure that internet traffic keeps on growing.”

Announcing its record today, the London Internet Exchange (LINX) tipped the 6Tbps mark, with a new maximum peak also occurring on LINX’s primary LAN in London, LON1; this platform alone reached 5.17Tbps.

The 6.05Tbps peak excluded traffic passed between LINX members using the Private Interconnect service, a favourite among larger content networks and currently used by more than 100 LINX members, at 887 individual private peering point to point connections, many of which are 100G ports.

Jennifer Holmes, CCO for LINX said: “This time last year we were quickly adjusting to the new virtual set up as lockdown hit. We saw the first of many traffic peaks, and we have continued to respond and manage the demand from our members for increased capacity.

“To hit 6Tbps across our network is really satisfying, and considering the amount of traffic which also passes across our Private Interconnect service, this is a huge increase from this time last year. The past year has been demanding, but we are pleased to say we have kept up with capacity demands, as well as completing some major projects along the way."

The growth trajectory may remind Burgel of the 90s, but the records have been stacking up since the first Covid lockdowns last year. High-profile gaming releases and bad weather in the Netherlands have also been credited with driving the new peaks.

Reflecting on 2020, LINX said it experienced "a ripple" of peaks across exchange points in the UK, US and in the Middle East.

In February, it released data confirming a 40% increase in traffic due to the pandemic.

March 2020 – the early days of the first Covid lockdowns – saw the first peak at 4.30Tbps, mostly due to updates being released for Fortnite and Call of Duty.

In March and November last year AMS-IX reached milestones of 8 and 9Tbps and in total it saw a 35% increase in overall traffic last year. Its latest record was attributed to "the curfew and the bad weather in the Netherlands" and AMS-IX said many connected networks have upgraded their port capacity to handle extra traffic volume.

In September 2019 the two exchanges linked with DE-CIX.