The Zettabyte Era Approaches

In 2013 Internet traffic will be four times larger than it is today, with the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs crossing the Internet each month. That’s the view of Cisco Systems (CSCO) in a new research paper filled with great big numbers about Internet traffic growth.

The bottom line: brace for an explosion of video traffic. The Cisco Visual Networking Index projects that video will account for 91 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2013. Internet video will be 60 percent of all traffic, with TV, video on demand and P2P video sharing accounting for the remainder.

Some other data points of note:

  • Annual global IP traffic in 2013 will reach 667 exabytes, or two-thirds of a zettabyte.
  • Mobile data traffic will grow 131 percent a year to about 2 exabytes a month in 2013.
  • By 2013, video will comprise 64 percent of all mobile traffic.
  • Peer-to-peer traffic will continue to grow, but become a smaller component of Internet traffic in percentage terms.
  • In 2013, the volume of Internet video will be 700 times the capacity of the U.S. Internet backbone in 2000.

In short, Cisco sees huge traffic growth ahead that will test current infrastructure capacity. Say, anyone know where we can get some routers and switches?

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Vernon

    It's amazing that we may see that kind of growth by 2013 which should put a stronger emphasis on how companies/IT plans for this growth. Will the majority of companies overprovision for growth or will they rely on scenario-based capacity planning and processes, as an example?

  2. FYI, Cisco has created several applications (desktop & mobile) to provide a closer look at IP traffic growth around the world. Free download links are available here