Friday, May 30, 2008

Akamai Report: The State of the Internet Q1 2008

Akamai has published their first quarterly “State of the Internet” report for the January to March (1st quarter) 2008 time period. The company will continue to publish these quarterly reports using data gathered across Akamai’s global server network about attack traffic and broadband adoption, as well as trends seen in this data over time. The report will also aggregate publicly available news and information about notable events seen throughout the quarter, including Denial of Service attacks, Web site hacks, and network events.

Akamai is headquartered in Cambrige, Massachusetts with hardware distributed around the world that, according to their Wikipedia definition, transparently mirrors web content (usually media objects such as audio, graphics, animation, video) stored on customer servers. Though the domain name is the same, the IP address points to an Akamai server rather than the customer's server. The Akamai server is automatically picked depending on the type of content and the user's network location. In addition to image caching, Akamai provides services which accelerate dynamic and personalized content, J2EE-compliant applications, and streaming media to the extent that such services frame a localized perspective.

Here's some interesting highlights from the 2008 Q1 report:

  • During the first quarter, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 125 unique countries around the world.
  • China and the United States were the two largest attack traffic sources, accounting for some 30% of this traffic in total.
  • Akamai observed attack traffic targeted at 23 unique network ports.
  • Many of the ports that saw the highest levels of attack traffic were targeted by worms, viruses, and bots that spread across the Internet several years ago.
  • From a global perspective, South Korea had the highest measured levels of “high broadband” (>5 Mbps) connectivity.
  • In the United States, Delaware topped the list, with over 60% of connections to Akamai occurring at 5 Mbps or greater.
  • At the other end of the bandwidth spectrum, Rwanda and the Solomon Islands topped the list of slowest countries, with 95% or more of the connections to Akamai from both countries occurring at below 256 Kbps.
  • In the United States, Washington State and Virginia turned in the highest percentages of sub-256 Kbps connections. However, in contrast to the international measurements, these states only saw 21% and 18% of connections below 256 Kbps respectively.
  • A number of major network “events” occurred during the first quarter that impacted millions of Internet users.
    • Cable cuts in the Mediterranean Sea severed Internet connectivity between the Middle East and Europe, drastically slowing communications.
    • Cogent’s de-peering of Telia impacted Internet communications for selected Internet users in the United States and Europe for a two-week period.
    • A routing change by Pakistan Telecom that spread across the Internet essentially took YouTube, a popular Internet video sharing site, offline for several hours.
There is a lot of good information in this free report - you can download it in PDF format here.

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