A new report from Cisco has today highlighted the changing nature and volume of online data flow, projecting that global Internet traffic will increase fourfold between 2009 and 2014.
The vendor's annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast focuses on both consumer and business Internet use and maps trends up to 2014.
By the mid-point of the decade, according to Cisco, global IP traffic will hit 767 exabytes between 2014, 100 exabytes higher that the level currently predicted for 2013. This works out at roughly 64 exabytes of traffic per calendar month, or 16 billion DVDs worth of data.
As Cisco has been forecasting for some time now, the growth will be dominated by video, which is expected to exceed 91% of consumer IP traffic in 2014. Consumer IP traffic is expected to grow faster than business; it represented 79% of monthly traffic in 2009 and this will rise to 87% by 2014, said Cisco, helped along by growing interest in 3D and HD technology.
Globally, business IP traffic will hit 7.7 exabytes per month in 2014, three times higher than in 2009, with business video conferencing projected to grow 10 times during the same period.
The other major trend highlighted was the already observed growth in mobile broadband traffic, set to rise 39 times from 2009 to 2014, when it will account for 3.5 exabytes per month.
Cisco Service Provider Group senior vice president and general manager Pankaj Patel told the vendor's partners that they would be faced with "evolving bandwidth and scalability requirements" in the coming years, adding: "IP networks must be intelligent and flexible enough to support this tremendous variety of traffic growth."