The Zettabyte Era

The Zettabyte Era

In our Mobile Advertising book, we wrote about the Yottabyte era. Cisco released an interesting white paper essentially talking about the same thing but in more detail. Worth a read.

Executive Summary

Annual global IP Traffic will exceed half a zettabyte in four years. At just under 44 exabytes per month, the annual run rate of traffic in late 2012 will be 522 exabytes per year. A zettabyte, or 1,000 exabytes, will be the new milestone to look for beyond 2012.

Global IP traffic will nearly double every two years through 2012. Total IP traffic in 2012 will be six times larger than it was in 2007, and four times larger than it is this year. Driven by high-definition video and high-speed broadband penetration, consumer IP traffic will bolster the overall IP growth rate so that it sustains a fairly steady growth rate through 2012, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent.

The Internet in 2012 will be 75 times larger than it was in 2002. Internet traffic will generate 28 exabytes per month in 2012, the equivalent of seven billion DVDs each month.

Last year was a year of phenomenal growth in IP and Internet traffic. Total IP traffic grew 55 percent during 2007, and is estimated to grow by 63 percent in 2008. Following the same pattern, Internet traffic grew 46 percent in 2007, and is estimated to increase 51 percent in 2008. After this the annual growth rate will begin to decline, and the growth rate of IP traffic in 2012 will be 32 percent.

P2P is growing in volume, but declining as a percentage. Compared to last year, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks are now carrying 600 petabytes per month more than they did this time last year, which means there is the equivalent of an additional 150 million DVDs crossing the network each month, for a total monthly volume of over 500 million DVD equivalents, or two exabytes. Despite this growth, P2P as a percentage of consumer Internet traffic dropped to 51 percent at the end of 2007, down from 60 percent in 2006, and is estimated to drop to 44 percent by the end of 2008. The decline in traffic-share is due primarily to the increasing share of video traffic. A secondary factor in the decline is a trend toward web-based file sharing in place of P2P file sharing in some regions.