Traffic to Valve has been growing 75% year-on-year. To keep up with the breakneck pace of growth, the global online gaming company has upgraded its network infrastructure to include Level 3 Communications’ 100 Gbps internet ports, which are available in 26 regions throughout North America and Europe. The new internet ports will enable Valve to provide optimal UX to the burgeoning and increasingly bandwidth-hungry global gaming market, which is expected to bring in nearly $74 billion this year.
Level 3 is “one of the few providers that offers 100 Gbps Internet ports, which are now a critical component of our network infrastructure”, said Valve business development executive Mike Dunkle.
The ports are critical because Valve currently averages 450 to 500 petabytes of data per month, which translates to roughly four to five exabytes per year. The primary driver of traffic growth has been Steam, its massively popular gaming platform, which saw a record 12.3 million concurrent users on January 3, 2016. Its most well known games such as DotA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Fallout 4, respectively host hundreds of thousands of concurrent users each day.
Currently, Steam has over 100 million users worldwide, averaging 10 million concurrent users and logging 2 billion minutes of playing time each day. Standard game downloads can take between 10 to 40 gigabytes of data per user.
“Level 3’s network of 100 Gbps Internet ports enables companies like Valve to securely handle massive amounts of traffic and bandwidth-heavy downloads, while still providing millions of customers with the seamless gaming experience that has made Steam a leading platform,” says Anthony Christie, Chief Marketing Officer of Level 3.
Valve is also leveraging Level 3’s global IP backbone, which can handle roughly 42 Tbps. Converging its applications onto a single IP backbone also ought to reduce operational costs.