IoT to account for more than 50% of all devices and connections by 2021, report says

Cisco's annual Visual Networking Index notes that IoT will dominate network connections and video will make up 82% of all IP traffic by the year 2021.

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Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI), released Thursday, predicts that machine-to-machine connections (M2M) supporting the Internet of Things (IoT) will make up more than 50% of all devices and connection by the year 2021. That means that more than half of the 27.1 billion devices and connections predicted to be in use by that year will be part of IoT, and IoT will account for 5% of global IP traffic in the same time.

The biggest drivers for this growth are efforts in connected cars, connected homes, and healthcare, according to a press release announcing the index. In 2016, roughly 5.8 billion devices were IoT connected, which means that the market will need to see a 2.4x increase to meet the prediction of 13.7 billion devices in the next five years, the release said.

Faster broadband speeds mean that users will be able to consume more video as well. According to the index, video will make up 82% of the total IP traffic in 2021, up from 73% currently.

SEE: Report: IoT to dominate connected device landscape by 2021

Live video, especially, will experience massive growth. Live video will see a 15x increase over the next five years, eventually reaching 13% of the total video traffic on the internet by 2021, the index noted.

Cisco's VNI also forecast that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will see a 20x increase, as demand for new forms of internet continues to grow.

By 2021, global IP traffic will grow by 3x, the index said. Additionally, Wi-Fi and mobile devices will make up 73% of that traffic by that year as well. However, as the traffic grows, so will the attacks. According to the Cisco VNI, the size of an average DDoS will approach 1.2 Gpbs by 2021, which is large enough "to take most organizations completely offline."

As traffic continue to grow overall, "network and security will be essential to support the future of the Internet," said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president and general manager for Cisco's Service Provider Business, in the release.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IoT applications will account for more than 50% of the total number of devices and connections by 2021, according to the Cisco VNI, released Thursday.
  2. Connected healthcare, connected cars, and connected homes will drive the growth in IoT, which will make up 5% of all IP traffic.
  3. Video will make up 82% of the total IP traffic in 2021, up from 73% currently.

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