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-in-chief 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.