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November 5, 2014

5 data centre traffic and cloud computing predictions

Cloud to take up three-quarters of data centre traffic by 2018, says Cisco.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Cisco’s annual Global Cloud Index (GCI) reveals the latest findings and predictions on data centre traffic and cloud computing between 2013 and 2018.

CBR highlights five need-to-know predictions from the report’s findings.

1. Data centre traffic will triple

The study predicts that overall data centre will triple in volume, growing from 3.1 zettabytes (ZB) a year in 2013 to 8.6ZB in 2018. The figures will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 23%.

The 8.6ZB of data centre traffic predicted is equivalent to streaming all movies, around 500,000 titles, and television shows, around three million titles, in ultra-high definition 250,000 times.

By 2018, cloud will also account for 76% of total data centre traffic, an increase from 54% of data centre traffic last year.

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2. Personal cloud storage will grow

The cloud index study also predicts that 53% of consumers worldwide will use personal cloud storage by 2018, while the average consumer cloud storage traffic per user will be 811MBs per month, compared to 186MB in 2013.

3. Shift to public cloud services.

Public cloud workloads will grow at a rate of 33% a year. By 2018, 31% of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centres, up from 22% in 2013. In comparison, private cloud workloads will grow by 21% per year. By 2018, 69% of cloud workloads will be in private cloud data centres, down from 78% in 2013.

Kelly Ahuja, Cisco’s SVP of Service Provider Business, Products, and Solutions, said: "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."

4. Global adoption rate is rising

Overall, data centre IP traffic is set to grow at a CAGR of 23% from 2013 to 2018.

In particular, Asia Pacific will generate the most cloud traffic (2.3ZB annually), closely followed by North America (2.1ZB annually) and Western Europe (988 EB annually).

The Middle East and Africa is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (54% CAGR), followed by Central and Eastern Europe (39% CAGR) and Asia Pacific (37% CAGR).

5. Internet of Things

The volume of data generated by Internet of Things (IoT) will be more than 400ZB, nearly 50 times higher than total data centre traffic by 2018.

Cisco outlined the following examples as likely catalysts in the industry:

– A Boeing 787 generates 40TB per hour of flight, half a TB of which is ultimately transmitted to a data centre for analysis and storage.

– A large retail store collects approximately 10GB of data per hour, and 1 GB of that is transmitted to a data centre.

– An automated manufacturing facility generates approximately 1 TB of data per hour, and 5 GB of that is transmitted to a data centre

– A mining operation such as that of Rio Tinto can generate up to 2.4 TB per minute.

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