Last week's Fortnite update helped Akamai set a new CDN traffic record

Akamai said CDN traffic peaked at 106 Tbps last week, passing the 100 Tbps mark for the first time.
Written by Catalin Cimpanu, Contributor
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The Fortnite Chapter 2 update that rolled out to gamers worldwide last week has shattered traffic records at Akamai, one of the multiple content delivery networks (CDNs) Epic Games was using to get the game update to its players.

Traffic numbers during the update's rollout peaked at 106 Tbps on Akamai's network, surpassing the 100 Tbps threshold for the first time in the company's history.

While exact numbers were not released, the Fortnite update is believed to have accounted for more than half of the peak traffic.

Adam Karon, Executive Vice President and GM, Media and Carrier, at Akamai, said the company is regularly reaching peaks of 50 Tbps every day, usually compromised of live streaming video (including live sports), music, e-commerce transactions, financial services, banking, software patches, healthcare information, automobile software updates, and others.

"It was just 2008 when we marveled that peak traffic on Akamai crossed the 1 Tbps mark. Now, hardly a decade later, we're talking about a peak two orders of magnitude greater," Karon said.

However, since 2008, Akamai's traffic didn't grow at a slow pace towards the 106 Tbps peak observed last week. It exploded during the past year, primarily driven by the online video game industry, and specifically, Fortnite.

In fact, this is the third time in Akamai's recent history that a Fortnite update shattered its previous CDN traffic record.

The same thing happened in July and December 2018, when Akamai's CDN peaked at 60 Tbps and then at 75 Tbps, both caused by a new Fortnite release at the time.

Akamai wasn't the only CDN that saw these traffic peaks last week. An industry source told ZDNet that similar huge traffic spikes happen at all the other CDNs Epic Games is using to get Fortnite updates to its users, although, we don't have the exact numbers for each.

The company, which provides a wide array of services outside its CDN offering, is expected to release its Q3 earnings next Monday, October 28.

According to a NASDAQ report, for third-quarter 2019, Akamai anticipates revenues between $692 million and $706 million, above previous estimates.

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