Stuart Wakeling

Crystal ball gazing

Blog Post created by Stuart Wakeling Champion on Apr 13, 2015

During the Investor Relations briefing in Jan 2013, CEO and co-founder of Akamai Technologies Professor Tom Leighton stated that we must scale our platform to deliver 50Tbits per second by the end of 2015.

Even those familiar with Akamai raised eyebrows and drew a sharp intake of breath - this seemed a stretch goal and then some. How could we possibly scale to meet this in such a short timeframe? After all, there are only so many servers you can install in so many datacenters right?

Well, here we are two years later and records on the Akamai platform continue to be set and subsequently broken. What was once considered significant is now viewed as almost run of the mill with the benefit of hindsight.

What is behind this growth? Well there are a few factors but arguably the biggest contributor is video. This shouldn't come as a surprise but if it does you've probably been in hibernation for the last two years. Let's turn the clock back just 12 months:

  • During the 2014 FIFA World Cup we saw a record 6.87Tbps for the live stream of Netherlands vs Argentina.
  • The gaming community is live streaming  games (MLG, Twitch) and studios/publishers need to deliver large patch files successfully to a global audience while minimizing latency
  • Trends and expectations are continuing to shift upwards. Good quality video keeps people engaged for longer and last mile connectivity only supports this.


Across the border Canadians are choosing to watch their video primarily from YouTube but there is a 150% increase in online movie viewing since 2011 (thanks to NetFlix, Shomi, CraveTV), see Streaming continues to gain steam: MTM » Media in Canada


If you happen to be at NAB you can discuss first hand streaming to second screen devices with Akamai's own Chief Architect for Media, Will Law at

What does the next 5 years hold? That's being discussed with Akamai's CTO of Media, John Bishop at

Imagine what's going to happen when 4k streaming over the Internet is mainstream.

Yeah, you know what...50Tbits per second is probably conservative.