22 September 2008
The recently-released Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, which was produced before the current meltdown in financial markets, projects that global IP traffic will grow at a combined annual growth (CAGR) of 46% from 2007-2012, nearly doubling every two years. This will result in an annual bandwidth demand on the world's IP networks of approximately 522 exabytes, or more than half a zettabyte, if your vocabulary stretches to that!
The Cisco report highlights key consumer and business Internet Protocol (IP) networking trends driven largely by the increasing use of video and Web 2.0 social networking and collaboration applications. The combination of these technologies represents what is known as visual networking. Based on Cisco's analysis and the forecasts of independent analysts, the updated study is part of the company's ongoing effort to forecast the growth and usage of IP networking worldwide.
Cisco VNI projections indicate that IP traffic will increase at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent from 2007 to 2012, nearly doubling every two years. In the consumer market, the advent of rich online video communications and entertainment, as well as social networking, has greatly increased the impact of online video on the network. In 2012, Internet video traffic alone will be 400 times the traffic carried by the U.S. Internet backbone in 2000. Representative of this trend, Internet video has jumped from 12 percent of the global consumer Internet traffic in 2006 to 22 percent in 2007. Video on demand, IPTV, peer-to-peer (P2P) video, and Internet video are forecast to account for nearly 90 percent of all consumer IP traffic in 2012.
Global business IP traffic is forecast to grow strongly at a CAGR of 35 percent from 2007 to 2012. Increased broadband penetration in the small-business segment and the increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise are major drivers for business IP traffic growth. Business IP traffic will grow fastest in the developing markets and Asia-Pacific. In volume, North America will continue to have the most business IP traffic through 2012, followed by Asia-Pacific and Western Europe.
Other key findings from the Cisco VNI Forecast include:
- Global IP traffic will reach 44 exabytes per month in 2012, compared to less than seven per month in 2007.
- By comparison, global IP traffic in 2002 was five exabytes which means that the volume of IP traffic in 2012 will be 100 times as large.
- Monthly global IP traffic in December 2012 will be 11 exabytes higher than in December 2011, a single-year increase that will exceed the amount by which traffic has increased in the eight years since 2000.
- Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 through 2012.
For those unfamiliar with this new vocabulary, 1 zettabyte equals 1 trillion gigabytes and 1 exabyte equals 1 billion gigabytes.