DE-CIX Internet Exchanges Experience Soaring Data Traffic, Reaching 48 Exabytes in 2022

December 14, 2022 – the day with the highest data throughput per minute globally

Frankfurt am Main, 16 January, 2023. DE-CIX, the global leader in operating Internet Exchanges (IX), witnessed a remarkable surge in data traffic across its Internet Exchanges in 2022. According to DE-CIX’s measurements, the total data exchanged via DE-CIX IXs worldwide exceeded 48 exabytes (EB) during the year. In 2021, the total data throughput was 38 EB, indicating a remarkable year-on-year increase of over 25%. To put this into perspective, 48 EB is equivalent to the storage capacity of more than 370 million smartphones, each with 128 GB of storage. It means that DE-CIX IXs handled enough data to fill slightly more than one smartphone for every person in the United States.

Dr. Christoph Dietzel, Global Head of Products & Research at DE-CIX, emphasized that the continuous rise in data transmission is driven by the increasing demands of modern digital applications and services. He also noted that as consumer expectations for digital applications continue to grow, the trend is set to continue, especially with the impending arrival of the Metaverse.

The global DE-CIX ecosystem is steadily expanding, with new locations being added, and traffic at established IXs in cities like Frankfurt, Mumbai, New York, and Madrid experiencing unstoppable growth.

Record Data Throughput in 2022

December 14, 2022, witnessed the highest data throughput per minute at DE-CIX Internet Exchanges worldwide. On that day, during the Soccer World Cup semi-final in Qatar between France and Morocco, 132 terabytes of data flowed through DE-CIX Internet Exchanges in a single minute. This event set new traffic records for IXs in New York and Frankfurt. The rate of 132 terabytes per minute is equivalent to over 1000 smartphones with 128 GB of storage each or the data volume of an HD video stream that lasts 5 years.

The peak throughput during the World Cup semifinals reflects the increasing digitalization of all aspects of life worldwide. Digital services have become indispensable in both work and play, exemplified by the popularity of video conferencing for work and streaming sports events for entertainment.

Throughout the year, the data traffic landscape exhibited significant variations. For instance, the summer months saw a notable drop in video conferencing data traffic, while gaming data throughput experienced a rapid month-on-month increase in June at major IXs in Frankfurt, New York, and Madrid, coinciding with the onset of summer.

DE-CIX in Frankfurt, the largest IX in Europe, had an annual throughput of nearly 34 EB, peak traffic of over 14 terabits per second, and around 1100 connected networks in 2022. Other DE-CIX locations in New York, Madrid, and Mumbai also achieved substantial data growth, all surpassing the milestone of 1 terabit per second peak-traffic in 2022. DE-CIX Dallas nearly doubled its data traffic throughput in 2022, reaching 625 Gbit/s by the end of the year. Additionally, UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX in Dubai experienced a peak traffic rise to almost 400 Gbit/s in November 2022.

In 2022, DE-CIX continued its expansion, announcing new locations and partnerships for Internet Exchanges in various regions, including Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Central and Southeast Europe, as well as its home market with DE-CIX Leipzig. This expansion has enabled DE-CIX to offer peering, cloud, and interconnection services in over 40 metropolitan areas worldwide.

Understanding 48 Exabytes

To put 48 exabytes in context:

  • Data throughput is measured in terabits per second (Tbit/s), and 1 terabit per second equals 10³ gigabits per second (Gbit/s), 106 megabits per second (Mbit/s), 109 kilobits per second (kbit/s), or 1012 bits per second.
  • 8 terabits make 1 terabyte (TB), and 1,000,000 TB make 1 exabyte (EB).
  • 48 EB represents the storage capacity of over 370 million smartphones, each with 128 GB of storage. This is almost five smartphones per German citizen or just over one per U.S. resident.
  • 48 EB is equivalent to the data volume of an almost 1.8-million-year-long HD video stream or a 5.5-million-year-long video call.