Total Internet Traffic

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Cisco Systems reports total annual internet traffic will quadruple by 2011, reaching a size of more than 342 exabytes.

From the Internet Innovation Alliance:

One Exabyte is 1,073,741,824 gigabytes.

A “byte: is a collection of 8 bits. A “bit” is the smallest unit of information that can be stored in a computer, and consists of either 1 or 0 (or on/off state).

Common aggregations for bytes come in multiples of 1,000, such as kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, and so on. The progression is as follows:

Bit (b)     1 or 0
Byte (B)     8 bits
Kilobyte (KB)     1,000 bytes
Megabyte (MB)     1,000 KB
Gigabyte (GB)     1,000 MB
Terabyte (TB)     1,000 GB
Petabyte (PB)     1,000 TB
Exabyte (EB)     1,000 PB
Zettabyte (ZE)     1,000 EB

A way to put internet traffic into perspective:

“The Library of Congress holds more than 29 million books and magazines, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps and 57 million manuscripts. It took us two centuries to accumulate that collection. Today, we churn out an equivalent amount of digital information every 15 minutes, or about 100 times a day. Just last year, we created and copied three million times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written. That’s enough data to fill a stack of books that extending to the sun and back — a distance of 93 million miles – six times!’

If Cisco’s report breaks out traffic by type, I am sure video will be see the greatest percentage gains in internet traffic over all other categories if not all other categories combined.

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