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By the network numbers: who takes the gold in the Fastly Games?

Beginning Friday, tens of millions of people around the world will be streaming thousands of hours of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games content, and we’ll be watching too — both the events and the traffic they generate by our customers.

Our global network serves an average of 800 billion requests per day and has a capacity of 130 Tbps globally. It allows us to reliably and securely deliver streaming content for local, national, and global sporting events, as well as to get a glimpse into what happens online during those events. We thought it would be fun to stage our own global “games,” comparing countries based on network data chosen by general interest and the ability to observe consistently across countries: IPv6 adoption, HTTP versions, operating system (OS) versions, and browser versions. 

We’ll share results of the Fastly Games — as well as traffic observations and highlights aggregated from customers using our network to deliver Olympic content — throughout the games. You can follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, for all of that, but in this post, we wanted to show you what we’re judging and prepare you for the Fastly Games.

The main events

The event categories speak to the role we all play in creating a better internet by adopting the latest protocols and updating key software to reduce attack surfaces. 

For the events, we analyzed data sampled between June 24-30, 2021, and for each event, we set a minimum eligibility threshold of 100,000 total sampled connections or requests per country to prevent countries with particularly small sample sizes from skewing the results in their favor. 

With all that in mind, here are the event descriptions: 

IPv6 adoption
For this event, we analyzed the percentage of sampled connections to our network that were made over IPv6. The results are influenced by the availability of consumer IPv6 connectivity in a given country, as well as the adoption of IPv6 delivery services by our customers. The winning countries had the highest percentage of sampled requests over IPv6.

HTTP versions
For this event, we analyzed the percentage of sampled connections to our network over the various versions of HTTP. The winning countries had the highest percentage of sampled connections over HTTP/2.0. The results of this event are influenced by the adoption of HTTP/2.0 delivery by our customers — although it has been generally available for several years now, it has not been universally implemented across all of our customer properties. (We have announced support for QUIC and HTTP/3, but they were not included in the analysis because support is currently in limited availability.)

Operating system versions
For this event, we analyzed the percentage of sampled requests to our network from the versions of Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS. The winning countries had the highest percentage of requests from the latest major or major.minor (i.e. 14.1) operating system versions. Without giving anything away, let’s just say that the results are rather surprising and point to the fact that users need to do a much better job on a global basis of keeping their systems up-to-date in order to reduce the potential for attackers to exploit known vulnerabilities.

Browser versions
For this event, we analyzed the percentage of sampled requests to our network from the versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari. The winning countries had the highest percentage of requests from the latest major or major.minor browser versions. Similar to the results of the operating system event, the results here also point to opportunities for significant improvement in keeping a key piece of software up-to-date.

And the medals go to...

Stay tuned to our social channels for the winners of the Fastly Games, our observations and highlights on the Olympic Games, and more!

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