From 4k video, to 3-D, to virtual reality
and beyond, we’re in love with rich, immersive media. As content on the Internet has become more
dynamic, the amount of bandwidth we consume has skyrocketed, driving innovation in delivery
and storage technology. This is a look at the future of Internet infrastructure. The activity you’re engaged in right now
— streaming a video — is driving massive growth in the amount of data that’s being
transferred. For perspective on how much data we’re consuming,
853 1.2 megabyte 5.25 inch floppy disks — like what Oregon Trail used to come on — equals
1 gigabyte. And there are 1,000 gigabytes in the 1 terabyte
hard drives many of us have in our computers. In 2016, global IP traffic passed a zettabyte
for the first time. That’s one billion terabytes. Internet video accounted for half that bandwidth. But in 2021, total worldwide traffic is projected
to nearly triple to 3.3 zettabytes—that’s 3.3 trillion gigabytes of data. More than two thirds of that traffic will
be Internet video, with IPTV like netflix taking up another 22%. To keep up with the increasing demand for
data and high-speed connections, service providers have been driven to expand their network infrastructures
and initiate projects like Google Fiber, heating up the competition. As a result, installation of large capacity
100Gb ethernet equipment grew 450% year-over-year in 2016. Google is also planning to use wireless alternatives
that can deliver gigabit per second speeds to reach remote areas where it’s too expensive
to set up Fiber. The other advancement we’ll see is the development
of ultrafast 5G networks. In 2016 the Obama administration announced
a $400m, seven year public-private partnership — spearheaded by the National Science Foundation
— to jumpstart the effort. 5G will handle 1,000 times the traffic at
10 times the speed of existing 4G and LTE networks. Not only will you be able to download an HD
movie in under 1 second, but it will free up bandwidth to make room for what’s on
the horizon. Virtual Reality is incredibly data intensive,
and soon millions of driverless cars will hit the road as billions of additional Internet
connected devices come online. The Internet of Things is an absolute game-changer. Nearly every machine and many objects that
aren’t — like our clothes — will be connected to the Internet. [John Volakis] “They’re washable, they
can be embedded in electronics. I think eventually what we look forward to
is to have circuitry, memory, as well as computer functionality to be embedded within wearable
circuits.” You’ll be able to monitor your household
appliances from your smartphone, buildings will be able to self monitor to detect wear
and tear and factories will anticipate when its machinery — or more accurately, it’s
robots — will break down, utility grids will communicate with energy providers and
customers in real time, and cities will become smart as traffic lights, trash cans, water
and gas lines will all be able to send service and condition updates, saving people valuable
time and resources. This explosion of data-producing devices will
lead to a revolution in how all that data is stored. The data center industry is one of the world’s
most competitive markets. In addition to investing in adequate security
measures, companies big and small must make their facilities run as efficiently as possible. The widespread adoption of uninterrupted power
supply and cooling systems are driving energy reductions that weren’t possible even five
years ago. Thermal management units and an expanded use
of free cooling technology is creating energy savings of up to 70%. And by harvesting the power of our natural
environments like higher altitude locations, night-time coldness, deep sea or lakewater,
and subterranean geothermal energy, data centers are proving that the push to create a better
tomorrow doesn’t have to doom future generations. In 2014 data centers in the United States
were responsible for 2% of national energy consumption, but thanks to new technology
that figure that won’t grow significantly—even as the amount of storage facilities does. Another focal point is on speeding up the
time it takes to install new capacity. This is being achieved by pre-fabricating
new facilities off-site, cutting development time by 50%. And the next generation of datacenters will
use robots to make the system even more efficient. [Jason Hoffman]
“The reality is, when you look at all server storage networking design, the intention is
that a human being walks up and pulls something out and pushes it back in. Now if you ask the question of what if we
had all that done by robotic systems? What if we started physically automating the
entire facility as well, then that changes everything.” A lot of these new facilities power the cloud,
which is becoming the engine of futuristic economic growth. But some companies are putting so much data
into the cloud, they need Amazon Web Services’ Snowmobile shipping container-sized data-transfer
service. It picks up to 100 petabytes of data from
its customers for high-speed transfer into the cloud. In the near future, artificial Intelligence
will become pervasive and cognitive capabilities will help us analyze and manage the flood
of data that’s on the horizon. All this infrastructure development will pay
huge dividends. Right now, only half the human population
is online. As that number rises fast in the coming years,
these newly connected places will be able to leapfrog the slower, less efficient infrastructure
of the past. One technique — which could especially help
in rural areas — is Li-Fi, which uses light to transmit data. Harald Haas — who pioneered this technology
— demonstrated it in a Ted Talk. [Harald Haas] “I can block the light of
the solar cell. So first you notice the energy harvesting
drops and the video drops as well. If I remove the blockage, the video will restart.” [Applause] LiFi technology clearly has a long way to
go, but it serves as a reminder that much of the internet infrastructure of tomorrow
hasn’t been invented yet. Thanks for watching. Which technology do you think will have the
biggest impact, and what did we leave out? If you enjoyed this video hit the like button
and subscribe. And stay tuned, we’ll be profiling aspects
of the future and key innovations every week from here on out. Until next time, for TDC, I’m Bryce Plank.

The Future of the Internet
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