4 CDNs Have A Combined Network Capacity of 100Tbps


The content delivery and edge security industry is experiencing strong growth. One important market indicator is the growth in infrastructure capacity, as in network and server capacity. At the end of Q1-2017, four of the largest CDNs now have a combined network egress capacity of 100Tbps+. In twelve months, we expect this number to double to 200Tbps, with CloudFlare reaching 20Tbps.

Limelight Networks has expanded network capacity by 50% and server capacity by 70% over the last year. And recently, Verizon revamped its network architecture, eliminating their TOR (top-of-rack) switches, and redesigning the router into two layers – the border layer and core layer. Their servers are now connected directly into the core layer and the impact is significant in that intra-PoP network throughput has improved 10x.

The four providers at 20Tbps network capacity and more, include the following:

  • Limelight – 20Tbps+
  • Akamai – 80Tbps+
  • Quantil- 35Tbps+
  • VDMS – 29Tbps+
  • **CloudFlare – 10Tbps+

Akamai calculation: 30Tbps + 7.5Tbps = 37.5Tbps. Rounded up to 40Tbs since 30Tbps has been on site for a while. In order to support 40Tbps, capacity of 2x – 3x is needed to accommodate packet loss and burst. Estimated Akamai capacity = 80Tbps – 120Tbps  

In the Edge Security sector, CloudFlare continues to expand aggressively, having added PoPs in Yerevan, Armenia and Quito, Ecuador. Their current PoP count is 104. CloudFlare is the one of the largest Edge Security CDNs in the world, after Akamai, especially since every one of their PoPs has been architected as a scrubbing center, mitigating application layer and network layer attacks.

The industry forces that will push companies to add network capacity in 2017 are the following: 1) DDoS attacks 2) Higher quality video streaming 3) 5G & WiFi and 4) Last-mile broadband connectivity like NG-PON.

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