Windows 10 Launch Could Seriously Break The Internet, Could Peak At 40Tb/s

Windows-10-logo-white(Update: Tuesday July 28th: As of 1pm ET, the Windows 10 launch is already massive with traffic over 10Tb/s.) I’ve never used the term “break the Internet” because most of the time people say that, they are simply overhyping  an event on the web. But with the volume of downloads that Microsoft is expecting for the launch of Windows 10 and the capacity they have already reserved from third-party CDNs to deliver the software, the Internet is in for some real performance problems this week. Based on numbers I am hearing from multiple sources, Microsoft has reserved up to 40Tb/s per second of capacity from all of the third-party CDNs combined. To put that number in perspective, some of Apple’s recent largest live events on the web have peaked at 8Tb/s. Windows 10 is expected to be five times that and will easily be the largest day/week of traffic ever on the Internet. QoS problems are to be expected, especially since all of the CDNs will be rate limiting their delivery of the 3GB download and many ISPs will max out interconnection capacity in certain cities.

Microsoft keeps changing the date of when the update will initially go live, but as of now, it looks like it will be available this afternoon (Updated: Will be Tues. morning) for those in the Windows Insider Program and then open up to everyone on Wednesday. That date could get pushed back again, but whatever day it launches, Windows 10 will surely create a new traffic record on the Internet. Microsoft will be using third-party CDNs Akamai, Limelight Networks, Level 3, EdgeCast and a few smaller providers to deliver the downloads. Akamai has the largest share of the traffic with Limelight being number two in volume. Microsoft’s own CDN will handle some of the downloads themselves, but I expect that will make up only a small percentage of the overall volume of delivery.

Unless Windows 10 is a complete flop and people don’t upgrade as quickly as Microsoft expects, Windows 10 is going to create some serious havoc with regards to the user experience. Expect to see some download times in the days, not hours, especially if any other content owners happen to have larger than expected traffic at the same time. Quality of service for downloads could deteriorate really quickly and remain poor for days, if not longer. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the traffic demands and delivery performance and will post the data I get from third-party companies shortly after the download goes live.

  • Frank Bulk

    Don’t you think that Microsoft will be aware of the impact, and so do its part that it doesn’t “break” things as you describe?

    • danrayburn

      It can only do so much when so many downloads are going to need to take place. Even doing a staggered release, it will have a big impact on QoS.

      • You do realize this is exactly staggered? So not everyone is downloading it at a certain time. It’s getting pre-loaded onto machines at the moment.

    • Stefan Holmes

      Don’t you think that many and various other large releases anticipated demand, yet their servers fell over rather predictably?

      Microsoft have managed this rollout exceptionally well. I’m the only person answering phones at a VISP and I’ve had *fewer* calls about slow BB speeds today than I do on average.

  • Mike Hammett

    More CDNs joining more IXes would help.

  • Rudolph

    and how are microsoft servers holding up when there’s thousangs of GBs uploaded and downloaded from skydrive and live mail ?

    • James Ritter

      Microsoft owns more than just a coupla’ servers in a broom closet. In fact, the pipes they’ve reserved will saturate before their servers will. They already know where the 5+ million Insiders are connecting from, and where the IP’s are that’s done the reservation. It’s not hard to map those to a datacenter and reserve bandwidth.

  • lawrence

    Doesnt Win 10 uses the torrent method to distribute updates etc. E.G. from PC’s on your network then other PS / Servers on the internet.

    • gavingreenwalt

      Only through LANs. And I think only at present in a domain with a Windows Server.

      • Vinski

        LAN and Internet. There is a setting to limit the sharing only to LAN, but by default it’s set to Internet.

  • Jeremy Hidy

    I don’t think it will be as bad as all of that. I worked for a small WISP that only had a couple of thousand customers, and we had Akamai boxes. This type of dl gets no special priority on the network.

    • James Ritter

      It does when a very large customer pays for a reserved pipe. And that’s no small check they wrote.

  • Jordan White

    Seeing as they pre-loaded the update for many… I think it will be fine.

  • wx brok mi internet

  • If you type “Bing” into Bing, then you can break the internet !

  • Steve Amor

    Delays international emails – surely caused by this?

  • C38S

    I’m uploading a file also, that will probably kill the internet for Australia.

  • Ronny Karlsson

    Varning… i had to make go back to windows 8.1 after i tryed the update to windows 10…. i coud not login on the computer at all… beside in Safty mood

  • Jeremy Freeman

    Nothing can BREAK the internet, do you have any idea of the data per second that flies across cyber space. Different ISPs, servers etc. My speeds are amazing, no matter who’s on.

  • Flappers

    This is not how the internet works… please do some research before spouting such nonsense

  • Turbo Lover

    so you are comparing Windows 10 to Kim Kardashian’s ass?

  • laserfloyd

    He’s saying it could impact the performance not actually break it. I have a friend at Level 3 and we’re both eager to see how it plays out over the next few days. Better to be prepared than completely goof it up and have everyone hacked off at you. 😉

  • LChapuel

    Win 10 has been downloading for over five hours now for me and still going. And I’m in NYC on a good connection. Sloooooow.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    More fearmongering from the cable industry shill, Dan Rayburn.

  • Star

    Win 10 was almost completely downloaded on my work pc when I got to the office at 6:30AM (I watched it finish by viewing the DL folder file size). Update and installation took about 50min. Not bad considering my office PC is an i3 with a standard hard drive. Other than the update burning up all the air card data for the month, everything is functioning fine. I will have to tether my personal phone for data, for a few days though. Later today I will see if my parent’s ancient machines are ready to upgrade from Win 8.1. Likely that will take over an hour.

  • Arslan Saeed

    I stayed up waiting for this download and it took me about 10 mins to download and about 45 mins to install

  • Kenny Konig

    So where is this Windows 10 file to download? All I have received is it would be in

    Waves. So were is it?

  • Justin Case

    Actually this is bringing Microsoft’s servers to their knees and I’m not even thinking about Windows 10 at the moment. I was configuring a laptop for a new PDC I was creating so I needed to reboot it. Bad mistake. That was at least an hour ago. Ever since it’s been installing updates from Windows Update and going at a glacier’s pace through these. Whatever you do, don’t reboot any Windows computer during the next couple of days or that usual “Please do not power off…” screen will be your screensaver… for hours.

  • m_curry

    Been waiting for over 4 hours for it to finish downloading.

  • That Guy

    Just go this route, must quicker and bypasses the staggered rollout

  • Andy Jackson

    The right kind of delivery for this kind of thing would be BitTorrent, so you will be sharing the pieces you got with your “neighbors” resulting in minimal impact to CDN systems.

    • Josh Bridges

      Actually, I believe Microsoft is using PC’s that have finished their installation, to act as host servers. In the Windows 10 update settings, by default, mine was selected to “Allow local and internet computers to download updates from this computer”…. Check into it.

    • YouKnow

      I disagree. Aggressively clogging upstream at peak is worse. The right method for distributing non-interactive desired content is trickle prepositioning during off peak hours.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Something else Rayburn is WRONG about. Shocking.

    • danrayburn

      A lot of capacity has been reserved, that’s a fact. And without Microsoft staggering the roll out, it would be impossible to deliver with good QoS. It’s only been 24 hours, still a lot of downloads to go. Many ISPs doing well so far, but some are having some performance issues.

  • An update?

  • Darrell Cheng

    Got a buggy and slow streaming of videos with firefox on win 10 pro…

  • OfficerPotato

    Is it just me, or at specific periods of the night, the internet completely drops.. constantly, ever since I’ve upgraded to Windows 10. If there’s a way to fix this? And if not, I might as well downgrade back to Windows 8.