Steam: 10 Million Gigabytes of Traffic in 2005

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Valve Software’s Steam system has become a force in online gaming, providing the platform for Half Life 2, Counter Strike and other popular games. In a year-end update, the Steam team shares some mind-boggling traffic and bandwidth statistics, with comparative illustrations:

Steam has delivered approximately 10 million gigabytes of data since the first of the year. You could fill 125,000 80 GB hard drives with this data to make a line over 11 miles long. Not that you would want to, but the visual helps. There have been a total of 50 billion player minutes in our multiplayer games since the start of the year. If a single person sat down to play on their own, it would take 2.28 million years to accomplish this. This is assuming that you’re not planning on sleeping during this 2 million year stretch.

How do they manage that load? Steam uses Limelight Networks for content distribution. Limelight offers a specialized solution for online gaming companies.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.