Telecosm 2008 – Cloud Computing and The Exaflood …

Nicholas was here at Telecosm to present about the shift – the “big switch” – to cloud computing. He reviewed the background on the evolution of electricity, and drew the parallels between the early days of creating your own power, to moving to a model where the power grid is a commoditized asset.

Nicholas reviewed the implications of Rethinking the Data Center: Virtualization of computing and storage, Consolidation, Programmable environments, Automated management, Multi-Tenant facilities, and Energy Efficiencies.  For anyone familiar with what Amazon is up to with AWS, and now Google with the Google Application Engine (GAE) this is all well known.
The next presentation was by Andrew Odlyzko who spoke about the Exaflood … the growth of Internet traffic. It was filled with facts about the current state of Internet traffic … and some predictions on the future.  One interesting fact … right now, the growth rate is actually slowing, even though the hype is accelerating.  Internet traffic growth is occurring … just not as fast as it has in the past.
Here are some of the more interesting numbers that Andrew talked about:

  • Qwest CTO Estimate: IP traffic to go from 9 PB/day in 2007 to 21 PB/day in 2012
  • Estimates for Internet traffic growth rates
    • mostly in the 50%-60% per year range
    • With 50% growth rates offset by 33% decline in cost … not much change in overall costs to support new levels of traffic.
  • Year-end 2006 worldwide  numbers:
    • digital storage: 185,000 PB
    • Internet traffic: 2,500 PB/month
  • Year-end 2006 US Internet traffic per capita:
    • 2GB/month
    • TV consumption ~40GB/month (assumes 3hr/day, 1Mbps, no HDTV)
    • TV/Video over the Internet will add *some* traffic, but not massive new numbers
  • Wild numbers about revenues to providers.  Revenue per MB:
    • SMS = $1000 / MB
    • Cell voice calls = $1 / MB
    • Wireline voice calls = $.10 / MB
    • Residential Internet = $.01 / MB
    • Backbone Internet = $.0001 / MB

The last figure that was shared during the panel discussion was that Eric Schmidt indicated last month that Google is currently accepting 10 hours of YouTube video per minute!  That comes to 14,400 hours of video PER DAY being uploaded to YouTube … absolutely amazing volume of data.

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