We hit 75 Tbps! Exponential global network growth in the last 5 years and we’re not done yet.
By Hayes Kim, VP of Engineering
Content delivery networks (CDN) have been around since long before the era of cloud computing – they were the original cloud. While the demands of the Internet were different back then, CDN’s are just as relevant today as when they were introduced, helping deliver high-quality media experiences on a variety of devices to global audiences. Verizon Media is continually investing in and advancing our delivery network, adapting to the cloud, and expanding our capacity to ensure the best performance and reliability for our customers and their users. Today, we are celebrating 75 Tbps of network capacity, a 10x network growth in just the past 5 years!
Reaching the 75 Tbps milestone is a significant achievement for our delivery network. Now is the ideal time to reflect on how we got here, the challenges we faced, and the road ahead. As a leading content delivery network, it’s not enough to co-locate servers in major metropolitan areas around the world. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to assume that’s all that’s required to hit 75 Tbps is infrastructure and deploying new servers. The reality is that it requires broad technological advances so that our network can efficiently and securely handle any workload within a diverse ecosystem of application interactions. Achieving this milestone demonstrates the sustained high performance required from automation, scaling, software development, and architecture. Additionally, it’s taken countless hours of work from a passionate, dedicated team. From the founders of EdgeCast, to the teams hard at work today, it has taken the selfless contributions of everyone to reach this milepost.
Rather than talk through all the various innovations developed to date, I will review the scale of the problems we’ve had to solve, including:
- How do you safely allow self-service deploys across a diverse engineering team to allow for rapid software deployment to a global network of 20K+ servers?
- How do you monitor in real time, detect performance degradation, and identify the root cause in a diverse network of 10s of thousands of customers serving ~10M requests/second?
- How do you automate the patching and upgrading of servers to ensure the safety and reliability of our service without impacting customers and production traffic?
- How do you build an autonomous system for taking internet scale real-time data and dynamically shifting traffic to manage load, avoid congestion, and provide world-class performance?
- How do you optimize server performance at scale to eliminate packet drops and improve overall capacity by 3x?
These are just a few of the problems we’ve had to solve to get to where we are today. Here’s a look at our network at the outset of our drive to 75 Tbps.
Our network growth over time has been significant.
Here’s what our network map looks like today:
What the future holds
Our network is securely positioned to handle the massive scale required for the OTT revolution. From millions of viewers who concurrently stream video globally throughout the day to the explosive growth of IoT devices, data is increasing exponentially. In fact, 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone – that’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day!* And there’s no end in sight, which means it’s an absolute necessity to work with a network and media platform that can ingest, process, and deliver all of this data securely at optimal performance for an unmatched user experience. Advancements in 5G connectivity will bring these trends together and enable innovations around edge computing, IoT, and security that grow with the future.
I’m so incredibly proud to be apart of the team that has worked so hard to help us advance our network and innovate in ways previously not thought possible. The best part of achieving the 75 Tbps milestone is that it acts as a checkpoint for us to take a pause, catch our breath, and reflect on what an amazing ride it’s been. Next stop, 100 Tbps!