Will Cisco’s network traffic forecast crush your profitability?

Cisco has released its Virtual Networking Index Australia update for 2015-2020, setting out its predictions for Internet traffic.  Not surprisingly, the world’s users are addicted to data and will consume more of it than ever.  Some noteworthy statistics include:

  • Australia’s internet traffic is set to double by 2020
  • Video content will climb to 82% in 2020 (from 69% in 2015)
  • Traffic generated per user will rise from 25GB p.m. in 2015 to 60GB p.m. in 2020
  • IP traffic per device will rise six fold from 1.7Gbps p.m. in 2015 to 11.7GB in 2020
  • WiFi will generate 68% of Australia’s IP traffic by 2020 

We already know that buffering is driving network users mad, and that apps don’t perform well when there is network congestion, so what is 2020 going to be like for network users and managers?  Did someone say chaos?  It’s not all despair though, and there are some fundamental steps that network managers will need to take to ensure that the congestion issues will not result in a flood of service tickets which will sink their profitability per customer.  Essential capabilities include: 

  • Application layer visibility on customer WAN and internet links
  • Shaping network traffic on Internet links in real-time to ensure key business apps get priority
  • Ability to identify application layer traffic down to user and device - otherwise you’ll never be able to identify and restrict the bandwidth hogs that impact on everyone else’s experience  

 End users expect the network to be a utility but, ironically, their own behaviour is having an impact on network performance.  Increasingly, the cost burden of this behaviour (and mean time to innocence) is falling to network managers.  Network managers will need to be able to show customers in a simple way the congestion on their network links and, importantly, to remotely configure traffic shaping rules.
It may well be that the forecast traffic growth will result in ever increasing service tickets and costs, having a major impact on the profitability of every network manager.  The irony is that the congestion is caused by your customers, but the cost burden is yours.

It's about time network visibility and control was made this simple.