32 exabytes of data traffic at DE-CIX Internet Exchanges worldwide

DE-CIX, the operator of the world’s largest Internet Exchange in terms of data throughput, based in Frankfurt am Main, has determined for the first time the total volume of data that passed through its worldwide Internet Exchanges[1] within one year. A total of 32 exabytes of data traffic flowed through the DE-CIX Internet Exchanges in 2020 – roughly the same amount of data required for an eight-million-year-long video call.

“We knew from the beginning that the Internet would withstand the extraordinary year of 2020 and the Corona pandemic, but to see such an enormously high figure now in black and white is quite something, and makes us very proud. At our Internet Exchanges, we have observed how data traffic has increased in the past year, especially in the areas of working from home (for example, video calls and VPN connections) and entertainment (for example, streaming and online gaming). Digital services and applications are more essential than ever, and must function with as little delay as possible,” said Dr. Thomas King, Chief Technology Officer at DE-CIX.

Record peaks at DE-CIX Frankfurt in 2020

Data traffic at DE-CIX in Frankfurt reached record peak levels twice last year: In March 2020 – during the first lockdown – a world record of 9 terabits per second (Tbps) of data throughput was reached. This was followed in November – during the German “lockdown light” – by another record, reaching 10 Tbps data throughput at peak times for the first time.

Some background information: How big is 32 exabytes?

  • The transmission speed of data is specified in Terabits per second (Tbps).
  • 1 Terabit per second is 103 Gbit/s, 106 Mbit/s, 109 Kbit/s or 1012 bit/s, i.e. 1,000,000,000,000 bit/s.
  • 8 Terabits = 1 Terabyte (TB); 1,000,000 TB = 1 Exabyte (EB)
  • 32 EB is the amount of data that would need to be transported to have a video call lasting nearly 8 million years.
  • 32 EB is the storage capacity of more than 250 million smartphones (each with 128 GB of storage).

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