True Detective Outage

The recent HBO mishap, which occurred during the delivery of the final episode of True Detective, was blamed on excessive amount of viewership. The statement sounded like they were blaming the CDN. First, let’s start off by saying that VOD content delivery is the easiest type of content to deliver for a CDN.  In terms of volume, the final episode was watched by 3.5M viewers. Now let’s do some math, and find out how much traffic it is in aggregate. Let’s began by assuming the final episode file is 10GB in size.

  • True Detective = 10GB File
  • 10GB file x 3,500,000 viewers = 35 million GB
  • 35M GB/ 1,000 = 35,000 TB
  • 35,000TB/1,000 = 35PB
  • 35PB / 10 CDN POPs = 3.5PB per POP

The 35PB of content delivery isn’t really going to break anything. The part I don’t understand is why there was a failed delivery, when all that is needed for VOD delivery, is the push of a button to upload the file to the CDN edge locations. The CDN takes over from there.