Over at Gigaom, Stacey Higginbotham highlights this chart on the monstrous growth of the Internet. According to Cisco, the world is on pace to generate 1.3 zettabytes of data by 2015. That’s four times the amount created in 2011 and it’s the equivalent of “more than 38 million DVDs streamed in an hour.”
There are some other tidbits of interest in Cisco’s report. The company estimates that more than half of the world’s Internet traffic will come from WiFI connections by 2016. And all that data will likely require a lot of power-hogging data centers, which already consume 1.3 percent of the world’s electricity.
But the real value of Cisco’s report is in telling us what comes after megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. It’s all in this invaluable table:
Right now, we’re still dabbling in petabytes and exabytes. We’ve yet to glimpse yottabytes. When that happens, Cisco promises, we might be able to have a holographic snapshot of the earth’s surface. Until then, we’ll have to content ourselves with trinkets such as “a digital library of all books ever written in any language.”