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Internet Traffic: What Is A Zettabyte?

June 16, 2008
at 12:00 pm PST

As any average user of the internet knows, a zettabyte is equal to 1 trillion gigabytes or 1,000 exabytes or about 250 billion DVDs. Driven by the use of video on the web, Cisco today released a study that estimates that “IP traffic will increase at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent from 2007 to 2012, nearly doubling every two years. This will result in an annual bandwidth demand on the world’s IP networks of approximately 522 exabytes, or more than half a zettabyte.”You can read the full white paper here. We have tables of our data and we make several projections on future growth of video and Internet traffic, including:- Video is now approximately one-quarter of all consumer Internet traffic- Internet video will account for 50 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2012- Mobile data traffic will double each year from now through 2012- Internet traffic is growing fastest in Latin America, followed by Western Europe and Asia-PacificThe Wall Street Journal’s Bobby White has a story on the study here (subscription only).Now, I can attest to utilizing more and more video on the web…(no, I’m not planning on streaming video of the U.S. Open playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate, but I could if I wanted*.) In the past year, we have been using more and more TelePresence sessions as well as created a Cisco PR YouTube channel as another way of communicating our points of view among other things…both of these activities were around last year, but we are increasing their utilization because video is a GREAT medium for communicating. As two-way video communications becomes more mainstream and moves slowly but surely into the household, I’m sure you’ll see what I’m talking about.*Okay, maybe I’ll take a peek at the Open as I eat lunch at my desk.

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1 Comments.


  1. Thanks for the great analysis, John! We’ve blogged about the new white paper over at NextGenWeb: http://www.nextgenweb.org/news-and-blog-clips/video-to-make-up-50-of-consumer-net-traffic-by-2012

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