Cisco projects data center traffic will nearly triple

In the fourth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index, Cisco forecasts continued strong growth of cloud traffic, cloud workloads and cloud storage with private cloud significantly larger than public cloud.

Over the next five years, the study projects data center traffic to nearly triple, with cloud representing 76% of total data center traffic. By 2018, half of the world’s population will have residential Internet access, and more than half of those users’ (53 percent) content will be supported by personal cloud storage services.

Global data center traffic

The study predicts that global data center traffic will nearly triple from 2013 to 2018 with a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% growing from 3.1 zettabytes/year in 2013 to 8.6 zettabytes/year in 2018. A zettabyte is trillion gigabytes.

The 8.6 zettabytes of data center traffic predicted for 2018 is equivalent to streaming all of the movies (approximately 500,000) and television shows (3 million) ever made in ultra-high definition (UHD) 250,000 times.

Global cloud traffic is growing faster than the overall global data center traffic. In 2013, cloud accounted for 54% of total data center traffic, and, by 2018, cloud will account for 76% of total data center traffic.

Data center traffic includes data center-to-user traffic along with data center-to-data center traffic and traffic that remains within data centers.

Consumer cloud storage

By 2018, 53% of all residential Internet users globally will use personal cloud storage, and the average consumer cloud storage traffic per user will be 811 megabytes per month by 2018, compared to 186 megabytes per month in 2013.

Private vs. public cloud adoption and growth

“When people discuss cloud, they often focus on public cloud services or public cloud storage services. However, a very significant majority of today’s cloud workloads are actually processed in private cloud environments. Even with public cloud workloads having significant growth, by 2018, almost 70% of cloud workloads will still be private cloud-related, requiring the ability of workloads to bridge across a hybrid private/public cloud environment,” said Kelly Ahuja, Cisco, Senior Vice President, Service Provider Business, Products, and Solutions.

By 2018, 69% (113.5 million) of the cloud workloads will be in private cloud data centers, down from 78% (44.2 million) in 2013, and 31% (52 million) of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centers, up from 22% (12.7 million) in 2013.

Global cloud readiness

The number of countries deemed “cloud ready” continues to grow. Last year (2013), 79 countries met the single advanced application criteria for fixed network; this year (2014), that number grew to 109 countries. Last year (2013), 42 countries met the intermediate single application readiness criteria for mobile networks; this year (2014), that number grew to 52 countries.

To assess cloud readiness, average and median upload/download speeds and latencies were calculated based on global fixed and mobile network speed test analyses.

Basic Cloud Apps / Network Requirements

  • Download Speed: Up to 750 kbps; Upload Speed: Up to 250 kbps; Latency: Above 160 ms
  • Sample consumer basic services: stream basic video/music, text communications, web browsing
  • Sample business basic services: web conferencing, cloud-based learning management system, VoIP.

Intermediate Cloud Apps / Network Requirements

  • Download Speed: 751-2,500 kbps; Upload Speed: 251-1,000 kbps; Latency: 159-100 ms
  • Sample consumer intermediate services: smart home, personal content locker (multimedia), HD video/ music streaming
  • Sample business intermediate services: ERP/CRM, IP audio conferencing, videoconferencing.

Advanced Cloud Apps / Network Requirements

  • Download Speed: >2,500 kbps; Upload Speed: Higher than 1,000 kbps; Latency: <100 ms
  • Sample consumer advanced services: connected education, connected medicine, HD video chat
  • Sample business advanced services: virtual office, HD audio conferencing, HD videoconferencing.

The countries with the leading fixed network performance in 2014 are (in alphabetical order) Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

The countries with the leading mobile network performance in 2014 are (in alphabetical order) Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar and Uruguay.

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