Zettabtyes are Coming

By Brett Molina:

In four years, we will talk about Internet traffic in zettabytes.

What’s a zettabyte? It’s one trillion gigabytes, and by 2016, global Internet traffic will reach 1.3 zettabytes,says a study by Cisco.

Broken down monthly, Web traffic around the world will make a fourfold jump compared to 2011, according to Cisco’s findings.

Cisco predicts more than 18.9 billion connected devices will be available in 2016, an average of 2.5 connections per person.

Along with more devices, there will be more people around the globe hopping on to the Internet. Cisco expects 3.4 billion Internet users in four years, equivalent to 45% of the world population.

Among other findings:

— Wireless Internet connections will slowly take over wired links. More than half of all global traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi.

— More than 1.2 million video minutes will travel the Web every second. To put it in perspective, that’s equal to 833 days.

— Mobile Internet traffic will surge in the next four years. Cisco finds it will increase 18 times by 2016, to 10.8 exabytes (one exabyte is equal to 1 billion gigabytes).


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  • As I’m currently writing ‘the Gospel of Slow’ (slowly) by the time the book appears the world will be twice as fast. It doesn’t take a prophet to predict that the strain between an increasingly frenetic world and a genuinely life-giving pace, will grow ever more acute. The renewal of ‘slow disciplines’ is a necessity if we are to journey through this century and remain human. http://radref.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/slow

  • Win

    Zettabytes are actually already here. I work in the data storage industry and we talk about this a lot since we are a company selling the capacity to store all this. Right now the number of data generators far exceeds manufacturing capacity to store it and it’s only getting worse. I think the last number I saw a few months ago is the sum total of digital data is sitting at around 3 ZB right now. (for a frame of reference, it’s megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, petabytes, exabytes, zettabytes (or zottabytes too.)

    This article is talking only about the internet. I am talking about the sum total of humanity’s digital data.

    That number doubles every 18 months or so. Therefore in 18 or so months, the sum total will be 6 ZB. It is staggering.

  • Kevin

    Funny… it’s not often that the same topics show up on my favorite religious blogs as well my professional work-related blogs! The term in the industry is “Big Data”. (Not too catchy, huh?). It is a big deal though, with incredible implications for research and predictive analysis… but it also comes with some growing privacy and security concerns.