Archive for the 'Tech Trends' Category

Welcome to the Zettabyte Era

ZBWelcome to the Zettabyte Era

In the last few years, a company that you might not think of when it comes to data centers and big data has made some dramatic changes in their strategy and offering: Cisco Systems. The company that for years has been the first name in networking has made some big bets and taken some risky initiatives to go from “the network is the platform” to the #2 blade server vendor, tied with IBM behind HP. This gives them a huge presence in the data center in terms of both network as well as computing.

This gives Cisco a unique perspective on where the industry is going, and where the market is poised to go, even in the next few years — especially in the use of Internet traffic.

Here are some key predictions from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index and an infographic that captures this picture of the future. Can you guess what is the #1 driver of Internet Protocol use? Next year it’s expected to surpass 50% of consumer Internet traffic. Read below:


By 2015:

  • Global Internet Protocol traffic: 1 zettabyte, which is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes.
  • Growth of global Internet traffic: 4X or 32% annual growth, and reaching 966 exabytes per year.
  • Number of network-connected devices: +15 billion, twice the world’s population.


  • Increase of Internet traffic between 2014 and 2015: 200 exabytes, greater than the total amount of Internet Protocol traffic generated globally in 2010.

Drivers of global IP traffic growth:

  1. An increasing number of devices: Proliferation of tablets, mobile phones, connected appliances and other smart machines drives demand for connectivity.
  2. More Internet users: By 2015, there will be nearly 3 billion Internet users, more than 40% of the world’s projected population.
  3. Faster broadband speed: Average fixed broadband speed expected to increase 4X, from 7 megabits per second in 2010 to 28 Mbps in 2015.
  4. More video: By 2015, 1 million video minutes –the equivalent of 674 days –will traverse the Internet every second.

Total Global IP Traffic in “Bytes”:

  • Global IP traffic:
    • 2010: 20.2 exabytes per month
    • 2015: 80.5 exabytes per month
  • Average global IP traffic in 2015: 245 terabytes per second, equivalent to 200 million people streaming an HD movie (1.2 Mbps) simultaneously every day.

Regional Trends:

  • By 2015, the Asia Pacific region will generate the most IP traffic — 24.1 exabytes per month — surpassing last year’s leader, North America (22.3 exabytes per month), for the top spot.
  • The fastest-growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2010 – 2015) are the Middle East and Africa (which had a 52% compound annual growth rate, for an 8X growth), surpassing last year’s leader Latin America (48% CAGR, 7X  growth).

#1 Growth Driver: Consumer Video

  • Global online video community will increase by approximately 500 million users by 2015, up from more than 1 billion Internet video users in 2010.

Global Device Growth:

  • In 2010, PCs generated 97% of consumer Internet traffic. This will fall to 87% by 2015, demonstrating the impact that devices like tablets, smartphones and connected TVs are having on how consumers access and use the Internet.
  • Web-enabled TVs access to the Internet continues to grow and by 2015, 10% of global consumer Internet traffic and 18% of Internet video traffic will be consumed via TVs.

3DTV and HD (Advanced Video)

  • Global advanced video traffic, including three-dimensional (3-D) and high-definition TV (HDTV), is projected to increase 14X between 2010 and 2015.

Mobile Broadband:

  • Global mobile Internet data traffic will increase 26X from 2010 to 2015, to 6.3 exabytes per month (or 75 exabytes annually).

Global File Sharing:

  • Global peer-to-peer traffic will account for 16% of global consumer Internet traffic, by 2015, down from 40% in 2010.

Global Business IP Traffic:

  • Business IP video conferencing: 6x growth by 2015, growing more than 2X as fast as overall business IP traffic, at a CAGR of 41% from 2010 to 2015.


Cisco VNI



Thanks for coming along.

State of the Internet: Email


It is regularly being said that “Email is dead.”

And while it’s true that Millennials often remain within the walled garden of Facebook or their mobile devices, email was the way most Boomers came to know messaging on the Internet.

I say:

“Email is dead, is dead.”

Long live email. Here’s a picture of what it looked like last year… along with statistics on websites, users, browsers, and social media: (click on image for a larger view)

State of the Internet: Email

Thanks for coming along.

Information Reformation

I wrote the following article over a dozen years ago when I was a technology evangelist at Sun. Back in the mid-’90s, we were experiencing the early part of the first wave of “The Web.” Today, with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies we’re seeing an explosion in different dimensions. Wikis, social networking, mass collaboration, blogging, and Instant Messaging have expanded what was largely reader-oriented” phenomenon into a dynamic read-write participatory platform. While the mantle of managing information has passed to a new generation of companies, the basic principles about information production and exponential growth remain the same.

On a related note, today celebrates the 40th anniversary of the first message sent across the Internet.

barilan_internet_thumb.jpgINFORMATION REFORMATION

Every October 31, we observe the anniversary of the German Reformation. Presently, there is a lot of talk about the Internet Explosion. There are several significant similarities between the two.

Indeed, one could call it the “Information Reformation.”


1) Common Language:

  • Luther made previously exclusive information accessible to the common man by publishing in the common language (German), not the language of scholars (Latin).
  • With the aid of graphical tools like Mosaic, Netscape or the HotJava browsers (a Java-based browser from Sun), anyone can easily read the Internet and discover new information without knowing classical Geek.

2) Common Format:

  • Luther published pamphlets, extending the existing single page “broadside” to multiple pages in quarto and octavo sizes. He featured pictures using the finest woodcuts and engravings of the times.
  • Graphical Web browsers that take advantage of open, standard HTML make information pictorial and, with advanced Java capabilities, dynamic, and multimedia.

3) Mass Distribution:

  • Gutenberg printing pressLuther’s 95 Theses, with the aid of the movable type printing press, invented a few decades before his birth, were distributed to the masses. Within two weeks, it had spread throughout Germany. Within a month, it was all over Europe. By the end of the year, it had spread beyond the Holy Roman Empire.
  • With the availability of interconnected computer networks, like those offered by Sun, information is quickly distributed all over the World Wide Web.

4) Unprecedented Growth:

  • Between 1517 and 1523, publications in Germany increased 7 times. Half were Luther’s writings.
  • The growth of the Internet and the availability of information on the Web has grown phenomenally, with a growth curve that appears almost biological.

5) Broadcast Marketing

  • Luther took advantage of the new printing press to “evangelize” his views on theology and detract from his competitors with his pamphlets.
  • Many companies, organizations, and individuals now take advantage of Internet home pages to “market” and promote their product, offerings, and views.


Wittenberg DoorIn the 16th century, as a result of a dispute concerning certain Church practices, a German University professor posted a call for debate on their equivalent of a bulletin board, the door of the Castle Church. These 95 Theses were not intended as a call to reformation but a quiet, scholarly discussion of theological issues.

So it was, on October 31, 1517, that this 33 year old Augustinian monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Door, marking what historians conveniently use as a coat hanger for the beginning of the Reformation.

But it was two significant things that changed history: first, one of Luther’s friends took the original Latin 95 Theses and translated them into German, the language of the common man. Now they were available to anyone who could read.

Secondly, with the aid of the movable type printing press, invented not far away in Mainz by Gutenberg toward the end of the previous century, copies were distributed to the masses. It became a veritable manifesto for change.

Thus it is with the spread of the Internet. So one could say we’re currently experiencing more than an Internet Explosion or Revolution, but an Information Reformation.

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian

© Bill Petro – visit for more great content.