The VAR Guy

June 16, 2008

1 Min Read
How Much for a Zettabyte of Storage?

The VAR Guy has a headache. He was just getting used to the shift from gigabytes to terabytes … and now Cisco Systems is talking about zettabytes (otherwise known as 1,000 exabytes). So, what exactly is a zettabyte? And can The VAR Guy get that on his thumb drive? Here are some answers…

First, some background. Based on some recent research, Cisco predicts that IP traffic will increase at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46 percent from 2007 to 2012, nearly doubling every two years. This will result in an annual bandwidth demand on the world’s IP networks of approximately 522 exabytes, or more than half a zettabyte, Cisco notes.

Hmmm. Somebody hand The VAR Guy a calculator, an abacus and some aspirin. Unless they relate to The VAR Guy’s bank account, big numbers give The VAR Guy a headache.

Now, for some clarification:

  • A zettabyte is equal to: 1 trillion gigabytes; 1,000 exabytes; 250 billion DVDs.

  • An exabyte is equal to: 1 billion gigabytes; 1,000 petabytes; 250 million DVDs.

Hmmm. So, Cisco is basically saying that 125 billion DVDs will flow across the Internet in 2012. Yet The VAR Guy’s kids will still complain that “there’s nothing worth watching on ipTV…”

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