Data Center Traffic Expected to Almost Triple Over Next 5 Years

6 Nov 2014 by Cloud

"Good news for data center companies' traffic in data centers is expected to continue its rapid ascent over the next few years, with new projections expecting it to nearly triple by 2018. That's according to Cisco, which recently released its Global Cloud Index. The ongoing rise in data center traffic is just one of the significant findings from the study, which forecasted that both businesses and residential users will contribute to increased connectivity and Internet usage.

One of the other major projections is that cloud traffic will represent more than three-quarters of all data center traffic by 2018. It is predicted that about half of the world's people will have access to the Internet in their homes. Both populations that first accessed the Internet primarily on mobile devices and users who have long utilized multiple devices are expected to contribute to personal cloud storage service adoption, with 53 percent of Internet users forecasted to use such services.

Zillions of Zetabytes
Overall, the five-year growth means that traffic will rise at a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent, according to the study, increasing from 3.1 zettabytes per year to 8.6 zettabytes in 2018. For readers who find that number a little abstract, the study cast it in terms anyone can understand:

""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,"" the study reported.

Are You Ready for the Cloud?
The study also assessed global cloud readiness. As higher consistent connectivity, low latency and more secure networks become available in more places, there will be more countries that will be ready to connect to cloud data centers. This likely indicates the continued expansion of data center companies into new markets, and can promise some exciting new data center locations for portfolio growth.

In 2013, according to the survey, there were 79 countries that met criteria for fixed cloud network deployment. This year, it rose to 109 countries, and is projected to continue increasing. Both businesses and residential users in these countries will be gobbling up bandwidth as it becomes available.

Another aspect of cloud readiness and deployment that the study evaluated was public cloud vs. private cloud. Currently, the private cloud is much more common than the public cloud, but the current balance is likely to experience some shifts in the coming years.

In an interview with IT Trends & Analysis, Shruti Jain, senior analyst at Cisco, stated that while public clouds haven't had the same readiness or ease of integration as private clouds, they have seen adoption for less critical workloads. As data reserves and non-critical application portfolios grow, it's not surprising to hear that more businesses are willing to experiment with public clouds. For this reason, public cloud adoption is actually rising at a faster rate, despite the continued dominance of private cloud.

As of 2013, about 78 percent of cloud workloads (44.2 million), were handled by private clouds in data centers.

By 2018, although the number of private cloud workloads will rise (a projected 113.5 million), the actual percentage of all cloud workloads in private environments will decrease slightly (to 69 percent).

More data center companies are showing current and prospective adopters the advantages of environments comprising both private and public clouds. Hybrid clouds will also continue to figure into the equation as bridges for private and public cloud workloads. In any case, the study's findings are fairly rosy for data center companies and cloud providers, which can expect new consumers, an ongoing desire for more bandwidth and better solutions to provision in the coming years."

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