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Seeing Double

  • From: Scott Huddle
  • Date: Wed Nov 22 21:18:51 1995

 	There is an often quoted statistic of the Internet
doubling every 12 months.  If we look at a snippet of 
data from the old NSFNet data from ANS, we can see this
pretty clearly...

	Month		Inbound 
			Gigapackets/mo
	9409		36
	9410		44
	9411		45
	9412		46
	[...]
	9409		71
	9410		85
	9411		90
	9412		78
	9501		71
	9502		57
	9503		64
	9504 		36

(the decrease after November due to the different NSF regionals
transitioning to their new providers)

While it was never possible to have a view of all of the traffic
on the Net, these NSFNet stats were useful as a representative  
sample of the entire whole.  In particular, this doubling time
is quite useful as a metric to try and judge general network
growth and for planning.  Obviously several things in the past
year have occured that have greatly shortened this time.  Amongst
them the explosion of Web traffic and interactive applications,
the huge number of new companies connecting their coporate LANS
to the Net, the [I'm running out of synoymns for enormous, ah]
enormous number of new companies selling and promoting Net and
Web services.  This is coupled with the big increase in 
infrastructure that ISPs and NSPs have built that help move all
these bits about.  

I've see a few guesses on this list as to a doubling rate, but
I'm wondering if there is a way to judge this growth in some 
sort of external and non-proprietary way.  

Perhaps a relationship between "average traffic" and the number
of routes?  This probably wouldn't hold in the specific
(because of the degree of use of CIDR at a particular ISP), 
but may hold in the aggregate. Thinking caps? 
	  
-scott (huddle@mci.net)
MCI Internet Engineering




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