Amidst the clamor and crush of getting ready for the holidays, and closing out the year 2017, there’s this other big thing going on for many of us: Prepping for the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas.
You may ask why a company like Cisco, not necessarily known for consumer gadgetry, goes to a show like CES, often described as the Super Bowl of consumer products. We go because we’re in the connectivity business — and just about everything in the (vast) landscape of consumer electronics gadgetry needs a connection at some point, in order to do whatever it was built to do.
Whether it’s a screen displaying a 4K movie, a fitness monitor gathering biometric data, an AI analytics engine crunching metrics, or any of the “things” of the Internet of Things, they all need a (wired or wireless) way to move their data, at some point.
Our focus at the 2018 CES is on our customers — service providers of broadband, video and connectivity — and what they need to succeed, next year and beyond. Like revenue growth, for starters, to offset the relentless growth of broadband consumption, which is already straining network investments.
Maybe you’ve heard this before, but it warrants repeating: We’re now three years away from a (2021) service provider environment in which IP traffic growth will have increased 3X, to 278 exabytes a month, according to our most recent Cisco VNI Forecast data. That’s more than 14 times all the IP traffic generated in 2010! And this traffic is flowing to and from and across more than 27 billion connections, 51% of them supporting machine-to-machine interactions, and 48% of them video-capable.
Getting there, in a reasonably future-proofed way, will require, in our view, massive amounts of network scaling, via cloud-native infrastructure. It