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From QoS to QoE: A Fundamental Change in Focus

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about evolution. Not the Darwinian type, nor even the evolution of business (such a common theme today among business strategists), but rather about the evolution of the market — and most specifically about the changing demands of the market as its choices become richer and more varied in the face of remarkable technological change.

Since 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell spilled a beaker of hydrochloric acid into his lap, causing him to call out to his colleague, “Come here Watson, I need you,” thus starting the communications revolution that would change the world (Watson unexpectedly heard Bell’s voice through the speaker on the device they had invented), telephone companies have prided themselves on the quality of the service they have offered to their customers.

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: May 31-June 3

Another week is already behind us. Check out some of top stories of the week that include a feature story on implementing solar energy for the everyday person, a demo on Cisco TrustSec Security and the Visual Networking Forecast (VNI) for 2010-2015.

1.) Why Knowledge is (Solar) Power

Should you put solar panels on your roof? It’s a simple question, but not an easy one to answer. A startup company called Geostellar is developing an Internet-based platform that will help property owners figure out whether their homes or businesses are well suited for solar. Read more about this new development here!

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China Telecom Selects Cisco ASR 9000 Series Router to Support Its “Triple-Play” Strategy

In the fifth annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2010-2015) released earlier this week, we indicated that the total amount of global Internet traffic is expected to quadruple by 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. This growth is driven by four primary factors: an increasing number of devices; more Internet users; faster broadband speed; and more video. In addition, the study forecasts that by 2015, the Asia Pacific region will generate the most IP traffic (24.1 exabytes per month), supplanting North America (22.3 exabytes per month) for the top spot. Such a shift is indicative of not only the region’s growing economies but also of the increased broadband penetration in the region, permitting more and more of the large Asia Pacific populations to get online and become both consumers and generators of IP traffic.

One of the useful elements of the VNI, highlighted in my earlier post, is the ability to easily analyze the data to generate specific, customized views of trends as it pertains to various regions, countries, and service types . Using the VNI Forecast Widget (see the link above), I was easily able to take a closer look at traffic forecasts in China and generate the graph below. This shows that by 2015, Internet traffic in China is estimated to be six times what it is in 2010 – a rate that is significantly faster than the global average (figure below is in Exabytes per month). How will enough network capacity to handle all of these IP packets be provided?

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IP Traffic to Quadruple by 2015

Cisco VNI InfographicOne of the busiest times of the year for my team comes every June when we release the Cisco Visual Networking Index which forecasts IP Traffic growth around the globe.  Now in its 5th year, the forecast, which initially started as a internal project to guide our own engineers as they innovate the next generation of networking infrastructure, has now grown to be an innovation in its own right, helping to provide data for our service provider customer and regulatory bodies alike (not to mention press, analysts, and IP groupies like yours truly.)

The top level finding of this Cisco VNI Forecast, which spans from 2010 to 2015 is that total worldwide IP traffic will increase 4x by 2015, reaching 966 exabytes or just under 1 Zettabye (which is 10 to the 21st power)  To put context to rising demand of IP over the last several years, we have had to change the unit of measurement several times just to keep up with the growth…. First it we measured traffic in terms of Petabytes… then moved to Exabytes… and now are embarking on Zettabytes…(looking ahead, we’ll eventually start to use the term Yottabyte…)

Factors that are driving this growth, include:

  • Video, as it is increasingly a part of nearly every networked experience.  By 2015, one million minutes of video – nearly two years worth – will cross the network every second.
  • More devices are connecting to the network – we forecast more than 15 billion will be on the network by 2015, making it on average more than two devices (whether it be a PC, phone, TV, or even machine-to-machine) per person for every person on earth (and if you’re like me, you’re an “overachiever” on this number, with well over a dozen devices connected to the network…by the way, just how many network connections are you responsible for?) 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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