One zettabyte is equivalent to 1 trillion gigabytes

Cloud computing traffic will increase by the equivalent of 1.6 trillion hours of online high-definition video streaming in the next three years.

Higher education, with its growing acceptance of cloud computing services as the technology improves and campus budgets tighten, is hardly the only sector storing mass amounts of information on the internet, according to a new report from Cisco.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index, released in November, predicted that data traffic will see a twelve-fold increase over the next three years, reaching 4.8 zettabytes by 2015. Cloud computing is expected to be the fastest growing piece of the web’s data explosion.

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In 2010, 11 percent of the web’s data involved cloud computing. By 2015, according to the index, cloud traffic will account for one-third of all data center traffic.

The Cisco report warned that the world’s cloud networks might not be ready for the predicted jump in web data. With a spike in video consumer options on the internet, data peaks are expected to rise 2.5 times the current peak numbers, posing a threat to cloud networks’ storage capacity.

“Cloud and data center traffic is exploding, driven by user demand to access volumes of content on the devices of their choice,” said Suraj Shetty, Cisco’s vice president of product and solutions marketing. “The result: greater data center virtualization and relevance of the network for cloud applications and the need to make sense of a dynamically evolving situation.”

One zettabyte is equivalent to 1 trillion gigabytes. There will be almost 8 zettabytes of digital data in 2015, the same amount of information contained in 18 million Libraries of Congress.

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