Internet Exchange DE-CIX Breaks Through 12 Tbit/s Barrier

DE-CIX booth

At the Frankfurt-based Internet Exchange DE-CIX, a new data throughput record was set. The first time the 12 terabits of data throughput per second barrier was breached occurred this week, August 9, shortly after 9 p.m. CET. 12 terabits per second (12 Tbit/s) would be equivalent to simultaneously streaming more than 2.6 million HD videos.

Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX
“Such a traffic spike in the middle of summer – when people are out enjoying the good weather – is unusual,” said Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX.

As of February 1, DE-CIX, one of the world’s largest Internet Exchange operators, had already measured a data throughput of 11 terabits per second at its Frankfurt location, making this the second record of the year. This week, the Internet Exchange from Germany measured 12.43 terabits per second.

With this new record, data traffic at the Frankfurt Internet Exchange has surged by 14 percent so far this year and by as much as 50 percent since the Covid-19 outbreak began in 2020.

“Such a traffic spike in the middle of summer – when people are out enjoying the good weather – is unusual,” said Dr. Thomas King, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at DE-CIX in a comment on the data surge this week. “But experience also shows that, in addition to Internet use for entertainment, software updates for PCs or other devices rolled out simultaneously worldwide are a significant driver of data throughput.”

800 GE Ports

Current rapid growth in Internet traffic is part of a larger development in which a sharp increase in internet traffic is visible, added Dr. Thomas King.

“Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, there has been a surge in digitalization. At DE-CIX, we notice this in the strong increase in data traffic on our platform and in a real bandwidth boom. More and more customers are demanding ever greater capacities. While bandwidths of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) were the gold standard a few years ago, 400 GE ports are already in use today. We are already preparing the next capacity level with 800 GE ports.”

With the new record data throughput and nearly 1,100 connected customers, DE-CIX in Frankfurt is one of the largest Internet Exchanges in the world. Nearly 40 Internet Exchanges, including Frankfurt, are run by DE-CIX in Europe, North America, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Nearly 3,000 networks are connected to these exchanges. With over 100 terabits of linked client capacity, these DE-CIX Internet Exchanges probably comprise the largest neutral interconnection ecosystem in the world.