So, in the previous two blog posts, here and here, we covered the following results of the 2010 Cisco VNI Usage Study:
- Q. How much broadband traffic global subscribers are generating?:
A. 14.9 gigabytes per month, an increase of 31% from last year
- Q. What applications are global subscribers using to consume that bandwidth?:
A. Online video applications account for 26% of total global IP traffic
- Q. When are global subscribers using network resources?:
A. All the time, but especially during “Internet Prime Time” between 9pm and 1am (globally)
Now, let’s focus on Internet activity. How are people using the Internet and what sites are they visiting?
Here are a few takeaways that our VNI Usage study revealed:
- Over one-third of the top 50 sites by volume are video sites, the largest percentage of any category. This makes sense since online video is now the top application used on the network. However, on that list, there is a high degree of diversity among the video sites in the top 50, including video viewed on gaming consoles, Internet TV, short-form user-generated video, commercial video downloads, and video distributed via content delivery networks (CDNs). So it’s not just about Youtube, Megavideo, and Facebook, but sites that are optimized for longer form content too.
- Contrary to popular belief, none of the top 50 global web sites (by traffic volume) featured explicit adult content. Not that I’m saying you “would” have thought that… but it does represent a shift in content compared to the composition of top global web sites two years ago.
- Ten of the top 50 sites were associated with software updates and downloads (security and application enhancements). Every time you get a new Windows or Adobe update or your virus scanner downloads the latest files, the bandwidth required to do that really adds up. What’s interesting is that, as users, we often don’t realize it’s taking place because it is updating in the background. It’s what the Cisco VNI team refers to as “passive networking,” a trend that makes us all bandwidth consumers even when we’re away from our computers.
- Within the top 100 global sites, spring and fall months are more traffic intensive than summer months (seasonal trend). See, the kids really aren’t spending all of their time indoors playing video games when the weather is nice.
Top 50 Global Sites by Traffic Volume and Activity/Hits
Source: VNI Usage, 2010
And of course, more detail is available in the 2010 Cisco VNI Usage white paper itself. Please take a look at it and check back again tomorrow when we raise our focus from discussing these trends in the now to how they relate to the future, too.