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Valve adds more 100 Gbps pipes to handle significant traffic growth

By Scorpus ยท 5 replies
Jan 14, 2016
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  1. Valve's current network is struggling to keep up with Steam's massive traffic growth, so the company has enlisted Level 3 Communications to deliver extra 100 Gbps pipes to their game delivery servers.

    According to a press release from Level 3, traffic to Steam's servers is increasing by around 75 percent year over year. In terms of total usage, Steam delivers 450 to 500 petabytes of data to its worldwide user base per month, which mostly consists of large game downloads in the 10 to 40 GB range.

    To keep up with these demands, Valve has needed to increase their internet infrastructure's capacity through the addition of Level 3's 100 Gbps pipes, which Level 3 says are available in 26 markets across North America and Europe. It's not clear how many pipes Valve has purchased (Level 3 has over 42 Tbps of capacity in total), but they'd need to have a significant number in their arsenal to meet the growing demands of its user base.

    Steam Download Bandwidth Used (most recent 48 hours)

    100 Gbps of bandwidth does sound like a lot, but that's just a fraction of Steam's peak bandwidth usage. Over the past 48 hours, Steam users consumed 2.4 Tbps of bandwidth at peak, with Europeans accounting for the largest share of that bandwidth (1.2 Tbps). These figures are just for a typical day, too; you'd imagine Steam's bandwidth would jump dramatically during major game launch periods.

    However, Valve's bandwidth requirements are insignificant compared to the biggest consumers of bandwidth worldwide, which include BitTorrent, Netflix, YouTube and regular HTTP traffic. Despite Steam's growing bandwidth demands, the service doesn't make the list of the top ten internet bandwidth consumers.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 7,981   +2,872

    Is it capped, throttled and shaped? XD
    wastedkill likes this.
  3. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Addict Posts: 253   +98

    I live in Spain, I had to switch my content server from Paris to Washington because speeds were VERY LOW.

    I have a 300/300Mbps fiber connection.
  4. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 146   +78

    Just out of curiosity, what does that connection cost you per month?
  5. robb213

    robb213 TS Addict Posts: 328   +98

    That's what I normally have to do, but only during sale times and big new release dates. Normally I'll download from Boston or NYC, but those times require me to switch to Seattle.
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,402   +875

    Recently my ISP upgraded their network to 100Gbps and I got a free upgrade from 100/100Mbps to 300/100Mbps. (I pay under $7 per month).
    I would love to upgrade to 1Gbps fiber (for about $12 per month), but I don't have any way of using that much bandwidth and I would also need to upgrade my router and laptop.

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