January 21, 2016
Valve’s popular Internet gaming platform Steam hosts some of today’s largest online games. “Dota 2” alone has more than 870,000 concurrent players in a single day. To keep up with the increasingly heavy traffic, Valve is working with Level 3 Communications to install a network infrastructure with 100Gbps Internet ports. Standard game downloads are generally about 10 to 40 gigabytes, but because the site averages more than 10 million concurrent players, massive bandwidth is necessary.
Valve’s upgrades are important to maintain the impressive growth. Steam’s traffic grows about 75 percent year-over-year. Recently, the site set a record for more than 12.3 million concurrent players. Many of those users are playing popular titles like “Dota 2” or “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”
Level 3 Communications is one of the few providers that offers 100Gbps Internet ports. Its global IP backbone has a capacity of 42Tbps, reports Ars Technica.
Valve’s bandwidth needs are enormous, but it still does not compare to other big content providers. Netflix and YouTube, for example, are among the biggest bandwidth users. Together, they account for more than half of peak downstream traffic in North America. Valve, meanwhile, does not crack the top ten in bandwidth.