As many of the regular readers know, this time of year is one of my favorite. Sure, kids are out of school, the weather is nice, and that summer vacation is within reach… but the real kicker? The release of the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast – this time for the period between 2011 and 2016.
We’ve been doing this report for 6 years now, and it has provided a lens into many of the changes we’ve seen in the industry, and there are many:
Changes the units of measurement just to quantify the amount of traffic – moving from petabytes to exabytes to now – for the first time ever – zettabytes
Changes in the types of devices that are driving traffic – from primarily PCs to now smartphones, tablets, TVs and the Internet of Things
Changes in the services and applications we’re using those devices for – from primarily data-centric to ones that are far more experience-centric.
Throughout all of those changes, however, we have had a constant – and that is the seemingly endless appetite we have for bandwidth and the incredible opportunities the network provides for societies, businesses, service providers, and consumers like you and me.
This year, the Cisco VNI forecasts that traffic from 2011-2016 will grow four-fold to reach 1.3 Zettabytes by 2016. A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes (10 to the 21st power in bytes = a lot). To put that in perspective, all the IP traffic that has hit the global networks in the Internet years to date (1984-2012) has generated 1.2 Read More »
“In 2016, over 1.3 Zettabytes of data will travel across Internet protocol (IP) networks. That’s over 10 times the traffic generated in 2008 and more than all the IP traffic that traversed global networks from 1984 to 2012 combined (1.2 Zettabytes).”
This estimate is from the latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) released today by Cisco which forecasts IP network traffic patterns from 2011 to 2016. The annual VNI rolling five year forecast has become a trusted industry barometer for how rapidly the use of global IP networks is expanding.
It’s common knowledge that the amount of online rich media consumption is increasing exponentially on an annual basis. But how much video traffic is projected over the next five years? And what does this growth really mean for global residential, business, and mobile subscribers and the service providers that support them? Well, to begin, we need to expand our traffic terminology. Today we live in a world of petabytes and exabytes but according to the latest findings from the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), we’ll need to add the term “zettabyte” to our vocabulary by 2015.
So, how much exactly is a zettabyte?
A zettabyte is roughly 1000 exabytes. To place that amount of volume in more practical terms, an exabyte alone has the capacity to hold over 36,000 years worth of HD quality video…or stream the entire Netflix catalog more than 3,000 times. A zettabyte is equivalent to about 250 billion DVDs.
By 2015, the majority of global Internet traffic (61 percent) will be in some form of video—Internet video-to-PC, Internet video-to-TV, mobile video, et al.The “dawn of the Zettabyte era” will be an unprecedented online milestone that will occur in our lifetime.
To better understand the significance of a zettabyte, we have put together an in-depth infographic to provide a visual snapshot of our online future. The way the world uses the web is changing and this infographic provides a quick Cisco perspective of what’s to come.
Are you ready for the zettabyte era? Check out the infographic here.
One 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 »