I’m doing some prep for a talk next week and just discovered a disturbing fact. I’m sure all of you will have read Cisco’s annual network traffic forecast. I covered it here.
What you need to know about is that Cisco reckons that by 2017, global IP traffic will reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes, up from 523 exabytes in 2012.
Somebody asked me what a zettabyte was and it made me wonder what comes after it in the big number naming or prefix stakes. I looked it up on Wikipedia and the answer is (of course !!) yottabyte.
The real problem comes when internet traffic outgrows yottabytes, which, dear reader, I assure you it will. I couldn’t find the name for the next one up. Wikipedia stops at yotta (1024 )! The world is facing prefix-exhaustion.
This is a problem akin to IPv4 exhaustion although the fix is far simpler. We have enough warning. We simply have to run a naming competition on this blog. It just won’t be acceptable to have more and more yottabytes. I could have a special mug produced as a prize.
I’m not going to bother with it yet (unless you really want to) but as we get nearer name exhaustion date we will have to give it some thought. It will also be a good excuse for another party like the end of the IPv4 bash I held a couple of years ago.
I would think it will happen sometime in the next decade – ie the 2020’s.
You heard it first on trefor.net…
PS I’d have put an image of the Cisco traffic forecast up but their flash code didn’t work and neither did the link to generate a jpg! We won’t get to yottabytes if we have errors like that now will we Cisco, eh? Probably just a glitch.