Internet Traffic and Users to Skyrocket by 2021, Cisco Forecasts

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Internet Traffic and Users to Skyrocket by 2021, Cisco Forecasts

The internet globally will continue to gain users and consume more bandwith in the coming years, according to the latest edition of Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global IP Traffic Forecast, covering the five-year period from 2016 to 2021.The most impressive number in the VNI forecast is 3.3 zettabytes—that's the prediction for the total volume of IP traffic that will traverse the internet per year by 2021. That's up from 1.2 zettabytes of traffic in 2016. There are a number of drivers behind the growth in global IP traffic, including internet of things (IoT) growth, increased use of ultra-high-definition TVs and faster WiFi speeds. In this slide show, eWEEK highlights some of the key findings in Cisco's VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast for 2016-2021.

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IP Traffic to Grow to 3.3 Zettabytes by 2021

By 2021, Cisco's Visual Networking Index forecasts that global IP traffic will reach an annual run rate of 3.3 zettabytes per year, up from 1.2 zettabytes of traffic in 2016.

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IoT Machine-to-Machine Connections Increasing

As an increasing number of devices get connected, Cisco forecasts that by 2021 machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will represent more than half of all connections globally.

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Ultra HD TVs Drive Bandwidth Growth

Different devices generate different volumes of IP traffic, with ultra-high-definition TVs being a leading consumer of bandwidth per month.

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IPv6 Capabilities Are Growing

IPv6 is the next-generation IP addressing protocol and includes a 128-bit address space. Cisco predicts that by 2021, 61 percent of devices will be IPv6 capable.

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Software-Defined WAN Adoption Expanding

From 2016 to 2021, usage of software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44 percent, outpacing traditional WAN growth, which will have a CAGR of only 5 percent.

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Global Average WiFi Speed Set to Double

Cisco's VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast predicts that global average WiFi speeds will double—from 18.2M bps in 2016 to 37.1M bps in 2021.

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4.6 Billion People Will Be Using Internet in 2021

According to Cisco's data, there were 3.3 billion global internet users in 2016. By 2021, that number will grow to 4.6 billion global internet users, a 7 percent compound annual growth rate, Cisco predicts.

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How Software-Defined Networking Is Helping Modernize Data Centers

Enterprises that are taking a cloud-first approach to modernize their data center infrastructures are implementing software-defined networking, which is practically a prerequisite to harnessing the power of the cloud.