Data in the Not-so-Distant Future

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager

EmpireStateBuildingImagine yourself standing on the sidewalk in front of the Empire State Building. Now look up. That distance – from the sidewalk to the top of the building’s antenna – is 1,472 feet. Now imagine there are 16 more Empire State Buildings stacked on top of that one. That tower of 17 buildings would reach more than 25,000 feet into the air. That’s almost 5 miles high!

OK, now imagine you have a DVD in your hand. Place it on the ground at the front door of the Empire State Building. Then go grab a few more DVDs. Actually, grab 6 million more. That’s how many you’ll need to stack up to reach the top of the 17th building. Your DVD tower can store 24.3 Exabytes of data. By 2019, that’s the amount of data that will cross mobile IP networks EVERY SINGLE MONTH!

One Exabyte is the equivalent of one billion gigabytes. The first USB drive I ever owned was a whopping 1GB. If I were to bring that USB drive with me to the year 2019, I would need 24.3 BILLION of them to store the amount of data that crosses mobile networks in just one month.

I don’t know about you, but numbers that high are hard for me to comprehend. It’s like imagining how I would spend Bill Gates’ 70-billion-dollar fortune. Or trying to count how many years it’s been since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

The 24.3 billion Exabyte statistic that I mention above was taken from Cisco’s 2015 Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology. This report forecasts not for some distant day in the future, but for 2019 –less than four years from now. So like it or not, much more bandwidth demand is coming, and it’s coming very quickly.

In addition to the example above, I’ve listed a few of Cisco’s most eye-popping projections below:

By 2019…

  • Every two minutes, global IP networks will carry the gigabyte equivalent of every movie ever made.
  • Monthly global IP traffic will be triple the amount it was five years prior. (168 Exabytes per month in 2019, vs. 59.8 Exabytes per month in 2014).
  • 14% of all global data traffic will be mobile. In 2014, mobile accounted for only 4%.
    Each year, IP networks will carry two Zettabytes of data. If you were to store that data on DVDs and stack them up, it would reach to the moon and halfway back to Earth.

And finally, my personal favorite…

  • If you wanted to sit down to watch the amount of video that will cross global networks in ONE MONTH, you’d better find a comfy chair. You’ll be sitting there for 5 million years!

The bottom line? You know the saying, failing to plan is planning to fail…so plan ahead! Everything is going IP so when you’re planning your next network infrastructure project, think about how fast technology is changing and what that will mean in only a few short years. Unprecedented demands will be placed on your network infrastructure, so please plan accordingly.

Berk-Tek can help. For more information, click here.


* Photo credit: Wikipedia

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