eco
07.05.2020

3 Questions for… John Graham-Cumming

On Friday, 8 May 2020 leading industry experts from different layers of the Internet infrastructure – including Access Providers, Internet Exchange Points, Content Delivery Networks, Data Centers, and Cloud Service Providers ‚Äď will discuss how they are maintaining the Internet during COVID-19.

John Graham-Cumming, Chief Technology Officer at Cloudflare, has already given us some insights about what to expect from this joint industry update webinar from i2Coalition & eco.

 

What have you seen across Cloudflare’s network during the pandemic?

Cloudflare has been watching carefully as Internet traffic patterns around the world changed to reflect the upheaval in our daily lives. Traffic towards video conferencing, streaming services, news and e-commerce websites surged, with growth anywhere between 20 to 70 percent globally. In addition, visits to federal, state, and local government websites nearly doubled from mid-January to early April. Unsurprisingly, traffic to international, local, and national news web sites also increased enormously. At the beginning of lockdowns, we saw traffic to websites with resources about educating and entertaining children (especially younger children) surge. Traffic to travel websites and pro-sports dropped. The geographic and timing differences across the world have been very interesting to analyze in this initial phase of the pandemic.

How much of a stress test was this for the Internet?

The Internet was built for this. While we’re seeing surges spread out throughout the day and at higher peak times, the Internet was built to withstand a nuclear event. This has certainly tested systems, but luckily this has come at a time when we have amazing tools and Internet infrastructure to handle the increased load.

What is your prediction for the rest of the year?

In terms of network load, we are starting to see a bit of an adjustment towards normalization in some parts of the world. However, I think we‚Äôll see changes to the way people work and how companies create products. The move to ‚Äėwork-from-home‚Äô has certainly opened eyes to how resilient the Internet is and how innovative teams can be in times of crisis. We don‚Äôt expect Internet use to just drop back to pre-crisis levels; if anything, we think we‚Äôre in a new normal of Internet use and have essentially seen growth that would have normally taken months be squeezed into weeks.

 

 

About John

John Graham-Cumming is CTO of Cloudflare and is a computer programmer and author. He studied mathematics and computation at Oxford and stayed for a doctorate in computer security. As a programmer, he has worked in Silicon Valley and New York, the UK, Lisbon, Germany, and France. His open source POPFile program won a Jolt Productivity Award in 2004.

He is the author of a travel book for scientists published in 2009 called The Geek Atlas and has written articles for The Times, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, New Scientist, and other publications.

3 Questions for... John Graham-Cumming 1