Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) has never been shy about making bandwidth projections, and today they issued some new ones. Their fifth annual Visual Networking Index Forecast says that in 2015 global internet traffic will reach 966 exabytes per year, just shy of a zettabyte. Remember when people worried about (or praying for) the exaflood? Yep, it's time for the zettaflood now, and the culprits are more users, more devices, faster speeds, and of course lots and lots of video.
The monthly number in 2015 according to Cisco's projections will be an average of more than 80 exabytes, which would quadruple the 20 exabytes per month we all averaged in 2010. As impressive as that is though, it's just basic exponentiation. What annual percentage growth lets you quadruple a number in five years? About 33%, which is actually not an extravagant number at all.
But that doesn't make the gross numbers look much smaller regardless. Remember back in the bubble when Worldcom was talking of the internet doubling every year? Better hope they're still wrong. Unless of course you're selling bandwidth. Or routers.
For the sake of the naming of future floods, the next level is the Yottabyte. That's a yotta bits. Sorry.
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