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Approaching the Zettabyte Era

June 20, 2008 - 0 Comments

This week, at NXTcomm in Las Vegas, we introduced the Cisco Visual Networking Index, an ongoing Cisco initiative designed to provide quantitative and qualitative information regarding trends in IP network demand and usage. Part of a collaborative effort from throughout the global Cisco community, the first component of the index an updated forecast of IP traffic growth, called the Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast for 2007-2012. It is accompanied by a whitepaper, entitled”Approaching the Zettabyte Era” which refers to the new nomenclature required to encompass the full scope of the dramatic growth ahead. Both the forecast and the whitepaper offer detailed analysis on some of the important forecast findings and explores the implications of IP traffic growth. Additional information is in a press release and an associated article in the Wall Street Journal, but highlights from the current Cisco VNI Forecast include:

  • Global IP traffic will increase by a factor of six from 2007 to 2012, reaching 44 exabytes per month in 2012, compared to fewer than 7 exabytes per month in 2007.
  • Total IP traffic for 2012 will amount to more than half a zettabyte (or 522 exabytes).
  • Monthly global IP traffic in December 2012 will be 11 exabytes higher than in December 2011, a single-year increase that will exceed the amount by which traffic increased in the eight years since 2000.

The study and white paper provide insights that have a wide range of applicability through all of our discussions, regardless of the type or geography of the provider or the services they deliver, such as:Residential and Video Services

  • VoD, IPTV, P2P video, and Internet video are forecast to account for nearly 90% of all consumer IP traffic in 2012.
  • Today, US online video generates three times more traffic than the entire US Internet backbone of 2000.

Managed Services

  • By 2012, corporate TelePresence is forecast to generate five times more traffic that the 2000 US Internet backbone.
  • Fifty simultaneous TelePresence sessions would add more than 1 Gbps to an enterprise’s WAN.

Mobile Services

  • Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 through 2012.
  • By 2012, 15% of the world’s population will be connected by mobile broadband.

Personally, my biggest takeways from the VNI forecast were:

  • Nomenclature -just three years ago when we started this effort, our forecasting exceeded 1000 petabytes so we had to look up what came next, which was exabyte. Now, only a few dozen month later, we have readdress our nomenclature again to zettabyte just to capture the vast scope of the growth ahead. (Plus this answers my question posed in a past post-!)
  • Opportunity -this much traffic going across the network indicates that as users, we will be more dependent on it than ever through all aspects of our Connected Life, whether at home, at work, or on the move. As a result, this provides unprecendented opportunities for providers to both increase the relevancy they have with their customers and to monetize those transactions appropriately to give their customers and their own bottom lines they value deserve.

Please visit the new Visual Networking Index site to learn more, and as this has been covered quite a bit in the media and discussed with analysts, we’d very much be interested in your thoughts as well. We will have some more data along these lines coming out in the next few quarters, so stay tuned.As always, thanks for visiting with us today,Doug

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