LAS VEGAS. The Internet is growing at a faster rate than ever before and technology needs to keep changing to keep pace.
That’s the message delivered by Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Data Center Group, in a keynote address at the Interop conference in Las Vegas.
According to Skaugen, there was 150 exabytes of traffic on the Internet in 2009, which grew to 245 exabytes in 2010.
“In one year, we’ve shipped more data than in the entire history of the Internet and this is just the beginning,” Skaugen said.
According to Intel’s data, by 2015 there will be a billion more people connected on the Internet. In terms of traffic, Intel is forecasting more than 1,000 exabytes of Internet traffic by 2015.
Skaugen added that in the last five years, there has been a 20x performance per-watt improvement for IT and there is now a possible 15-to-1 consolidation rate for servers.
“You can get your hardware investment back in two to five months with lower costs thanks to consolidation,” Skaugen said. “We have made tremendous progress, but it’s not enough to get the next billion people on the Internet.”
Skaugen said that infrastructure and server costs need to come down more and people are worried about power, security manageability and lock-in issues.
“We would need 45 new nuclear power plants to power the next billion at current power usage levels,” Skaugen said.
Costs are coming down for compute power and will continue to do so. According to Skaugen, in 1997 a teraflop of compute cost 55 thousand dollars. In 2010, 500 teraflops can be had for less than $100 per gigaflop.
“The next ten years is about open switching and routing has been too expensive,” Skaugen said. “We can accelerate that and put the same economics for networking too.”
Intel is now moving to a 3D transistor model which consumes half the power on a 22 nanometer process.
“This will transform everything from phones all the way up to the highest performing supercomputers,” Skaugen said.
Skaugen said that if an enterprise or datacenter can pay back new server costs in two-to-five months with lower costs, then why wouldn’t everyone want to do it? That said, Skaugen said that Intel has actually seen the install base of servers get older over the last year.
“We haven’t got our message out to the world enough yet,” Skaugen said. In summary, together, we can change the economics of computing.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.