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Summertime 2011: Observations of a CTO

By Bob McIntyre, CTO, Cisco Service Provider Group

I was digging around my PowerPoints on the laptop recently, getting ready for our “Cisco Live!” event, and came across a set of predictions I’d made, five years ago.

A CTO, making predictions five years out? What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, I wouldn’t be bringing it up unless it was so off base as to be funny, — or close enough to “correct” to boast a little.

Turns out it was mostly the latter, so allow me to boast a little. -- Just a little. I promise.

Back then, in 2006, I said what will make service providers successful would be the delivery to consumers of their own personal HD video stream, on any device, wherever they were. A two-way stream. (This was the year before the iPhone and smart phones hit the market, and four years before “pads” did.)

I also surmised that triple and quad play (voice, video, data and wireless) bundles would continue to be the big thing; that operators needed to move drastically faster on what we now call “apps;” and that what we now call Wi-Fi mobile hot spots and 4th generation wireless (back then, we called it “fixed mobile convergence”) would be critical. Read More »

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On the Threshold of the Zettabyte Era

Just how rapidly is Internet usage growing?  Consider this:

  • Total global Internet traffic will quadruple by 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year, nearly a zettabyte.
  • By 2015, the traffic equivalent of all the movies ever made will cross the Internet every 5 minutes.
  • In 2015, one million minutes of video content will cross the global network every second.

These “wow!”-inspiring data bits come to you courtesy of the just-released “Cisco Visual Networking Index Forecast, 2010-2015.”

We are indeed on the threshold of the “Zettabyte Era.”  And the implications are significant: Read More »

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The Yang of Open Standards, the Yin of Open Source

Every time I think about the relationship between Open Standards and Open Source I am reminded of a fascinating talk by Paul Saltman, a biochemist from Caltech, invited to speak to a Chinese forum years ago, about national food policy for China, later published in Caltech’s Engineering & Science, titled The Yang of Nutrition…The Yin of Food.

I am not a nutritionist, or biochemist, or expert on food -- though in more than one occasion I’ve been known to venture in the art - but I do know a little about open standards and open source - let’s just say enough to be sentient of the wholeness and synergy in which these opposites attract and coexist, perhaps not unlike The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

By the very nature of our industry, open standards are not just important, they are indispensable, the foundation upon which every internetworking protocol is based, the pre-requisite of interoperability, so naturally we take open standards seriously, the yang side, as it were.  But what is often overlooked, just as the case with the yin of food in Saltman’s parallel, is the yin of open source, some of which is in fact the implementation, the other side, or yin as it were, of these open standards and more, with things like jabber or tigerstripe just to name a few.  We’d like to tell you more about what we’re doing with these and other open projects, soon to be covered in this blog.

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Energy Optimization for Manufacturing

Last week at the ODVA Annual Conference--as part of ODVA’s announcement of a new energy initiative and white paper--Cisco’s Bryce Barnes roused a packed-house audience representing ODVA’s ~200 industrial and automation suppliers with a compelling speech on the immediate need for Optimization of Energy Usage (OEU™) in the Production domain. Energy consumption statistics for the industrial sector are staggering, most estimates suggesting half of the world’s total delivered energy, and that amount is projected to increase by 40% over the next 25 years.  For Manufacturers, energy typically constitutes the first or second highest portion of product variable costs, and most manufacturing companies now report as part of their governance a sustainability strategy that is core to their overall business strategy.  Furthermore, volatility of energy markets--closely linked to the stability of governments, international relations and policies--raises the risk profile for continuity of supply, production and satisfaction of customers.  Optimizing energy consumption, minimizing energy costs and mitigating energy risks are clearly top of mind business imperatives for the Manufacturing CEO.

Mark Wylie discusses the importance of energy optimization to sustainable manufacturing operations.  Check out Mark’s December blog on factory energy management.

Read More »

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Cisco VNI Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2010 – 2015

Here’s a news flash – mobile data traffic is growing rapidly.

. . . Oh, you knew that already?

Well, bet you didn’t know HOW fast it’s growing.  

Really fast, actually.  Specifically, global mobile data traffic grew 4.2 times faster than global fixed broadband data traffic in 2010 according to. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Mobile Data Traffic Forecast covering the period 2010 – 2015. 

A year ago, the Cisco VNI Mobile Data Traffic study predicted that global mobile data traffic would reach 3.6 exabytes by 2014 . . . and we thought that was fast.

Findings from the recently updated Cisco Mobile VNI include:

  • The annual global mobile data traffic will reach 6.3 exabytes per month, or an annual run rate of 75 exabytes, by 2015. That amount is the equivalent of 19 billion DVDs or 536 quadrillion SMS text messages or 75 times the amount of global Internet Protocol traffic (fixed and mobile) generated in the year 2000.
  • Global mobile data traffic increased 159 percent from calendar year 2009 to calendar year 2010 to 237 petabytes per month, or the equivalent of 60 million DVDs.
  • Global mobile data traffic grew 4.2 times as fast as global fixed broadband data traffic in 2010.
  • Global mobile data traffic in 2010 was three times the size of all global Internet traffic (fixed and mobile) in the year 2000.
  • According to the updated forecast, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest regional mobile data traffic growth rates, with a compound annual growth rate of 129 percent (63-fold growth) over the period. Latin America anticipates a 111 percent CAGR (42-fold growth), followed by Central and Eastern Europe, with a 102 percent CAGR (34-fold growth), and Asia-Pacific, with a 101 percent CAGR (33-fold growth). Western Europe is forecast to experience a 91 percent CAGR (25-fold growth); North America, an 83 percent CAGR (20-fold growth); and Japan, a 70 percent CAGR (14-fold growth).
  • India has the highest national mobile data traffic growth rate, with a CAGR of 158 percent (115-fold growth) for the forecast period, followed by South Africa, with a 144 percent CAGR (87-fold growth), and Mexico, with a 131 percent CAGR (66-fold growth). Comparatively, the United Kingdom will see an 84 percent CAGR (21-fold growth), and the U.S. an 83 percent CAGR (21-fold growth), according to the updated forecast.
  • In spite of the slow economic recovery in many regions, the demand for mobile services has remained constant, overall, and strong traffic growth continues globally.

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