wow, lots of akamai

Matt Erculiani merculiani at
Thu Apr 1 20:29:04 UTC 2021


> First, to be blunt, if you really think Akamai nodes are “sitting idle
for weeks” before CoD comes out with a new game,
> you are clearly confused.

"Idle" in the sense that when you look at a graph of traffic before and
after a large push such as this makes the rest of the week's traffic look
like a horizontal line at the bottom, admittedly poor word choice, yes, but
far from "confused" as to what CDNs do under relatively normal
circumstances. Otherwise very valid points you've raised.


> Akamai, and other CDNs, do not **generate** traffic ; they serve the
requests generated by users.

A user sends a few megabytes of request and receives 50 gigs of reply. They
aren't DDoSing the network, but they're amplifying a single 50 gig copy
they receive from the mothership and turning it into likely tens of
terabytes of traffic.
Yes, that's a CDN's job, but that volume of legitimate traffic and the very
tiny window with which it is transmitted is likely to be a burden for even
the largest residential ISPs.


On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 2:09 PM Patrick W. Gilmore <patrick at> wrote:

> Matt:
> I am going to disagree with your characterization of how Akamai - and many
> other CDNs - manage things. First, to be blunt, if you really think Akamai
> nodes are “sitting idle for weeks” before CoD comes out with a new game,
> you are clearly confused.
> More importantly, I know for a fact Akamai has spent ungodly amounts of
> money & resources putting content precisely where the ISPs ask them to put
> it, deliver it over the pipes the ISPs ask them to deliver it, at precisely
> the capacity the ISPs tell them.
> On the other hand, I agree with your characterization of residential
> broadband. It is ridiculous to expect a neighborhood with 1,000 homes each
> with 1 Gbps links to have a terabit of uplink capacity. But it also should
> have a lot more than 10 Gbps, IMHO. Unfortunately, most neighborhoods I
> have seen are closer to the latter than the former.
> Finally, this could quickly devolve into finger pointing. You say the CDNs
> bear some responsibility? They may well respond that the large broadband
> providers ask for cash to interconnect - but still require the CDNs to do
> all the work. The CDNs did not create the content, or tell the users which
> content to pull. When I pay $NATIONAL_PROVIDER, I expect them to provide me
> with access to the Internet. Not just to the content that pays that
> provider.
> Personally, I have zero problems with the ISPs saying “give me a cache to
> put here with this sized uplink” or “please deliver to these users over
> this xconn / IX / whatever”. I have a huge problem with the ISPs blaming
> the ISPs for delivering what the ISP’s users request.
> Of course, this could all be solved if there were more competition in
> broadband in the US (and many other countries). But that is a totally
> different 10,000 post thread (that we have had many dozens of times).
> --
> patrick
> On Apr 1, 2021, at 3:53 PM, Matt Erculiani <merculiani at> wrote:
> Niels,
> I think to clarify Jean's point, when you buy a 300mbps circuit, you're
> paying for 300mbps of *internet *access.
> That does not mean that a network should (and in this case small-medium
> ones simply can't) build all of their capacity to service a large number of
> customer circuits at line rate at the same time for an extended
> period, ESPECIALLY to the exact same endpoint. It's just not economically
> reasonable to expect that. Remember we're talking about residential service
> here, not enterprise circuits.
> Therefore, how do you prevent this spike of [insert large number here]
> gigabits traversing the network at the same time from causing issues? Build
> more network? That sounds easy, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons
> why ISPs can't or don't want to do that, particularly for an event that
> only occurs once per quarter or so.
> Does Akamai bear some burden here to make these rollouts less troublesome
> for the ISPs they traverse through the last mile(s)? IMO yes, yes they do.
> When you're doing something new and unprecedented, as Akamai frequently
> brags about on Twitter, like having rapid, bursty growth of traffic, you
> need to consider that just because you can generate it, doesn't mean it can
> be delivered.  They've gotta be more sophisticated than a bunch of servers
> with SSD arrays, ramdisks, and 100 gig interfaces, so there's no excuse for
> them here to just blindly fill every link they have after sitting idle for
> weeks/months at a time and expect everything to come out alright and nobody
> to complain about it.
> On Thu, Apr 1, 2021 at 1:21 PM Niels Bakker <niels=nanog at>
> wrote:
>> * nanog at (Jean St-Laurent via NANOG) [Thu 01 Apr 2021, 21:03
>> CEST]:
>> >An artificial roll out penalty somehow? Probably not at the ISP
>> >level, but more at the game level. Well, ISP could also have some
>> >mechanisms to reduce the impact or even Akamai could force a
>> >progressive roll out.
>> It's an online game. You can't play the game with outdated assets.
>> You'd not see walls where other players would, for example.
>> What you're suggesting is the ability of ISPs to market Internet access
>> at a certain speed but not have to deliver it based on conditions they
>> create.
>>         -- Niels.
> --
> Matt Erculiani

Matt Erculiani
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