Cisco maintains something called the Visual Networking Index (VNI), an initiative that tracks and forecast traffic over the Internet. Previously, the VNI noted that the annual global traffic was in the exabyte territory and forecasted that in 2015, it could reach a zettabyte. Now it is an interesting read the Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015, however, I am more curious about the labels used. In my earlier days of discussing storage a terabyte was a big number. Only enterprise customers needed to even be aware of the term “terabyte”. Incredibly, the VNI forecast for households generating a terabyte of traffic per month in 2015 will be 6 million. Imagine, a domicile with a couple of online professionals, and video viewing, game playing and social media interacting kids will generate enough traffic to equal the biggest number most enterprises evaluated for storage just ten years ago. Given that, how big is big?
Since a gigabyte is pretty common for tech savvy people, let’s begin there. A gigabyte is equal to one billion bytes or 109 (1,000,000,000). Following that is a terabyte, petabyte, exabyte, and the rapidly approaching zettabyte or 1021 (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). (Remember when you would race your siblings or a kid in the neighborhood to see who could count to 100 the fastest?) Anyway, since we were using a “z” word for this gargantuan number, I had to see what was next in line. Well, it is a yottabyte made up of a whole lot of yobibits. Who makes up these terms?
Let’s conclude with this one known fact, IP communications and applications are generating a whole lot of traffic. And a lotta bytes equals a yottabytes.
See you on Monday.