Cisco Report Forecasts 12-Fold Growth in Cloud Traffic by 2015

Vendor projects more than half of data center workloads will be cloud-based by 2014.

December 23, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Cisco Systems Inc. said that the results of its new Global Cloud Index forecasts that cloud computing traffic will spike some 12-fold through 2015, climbing from 130 exabytes to a whopping 1.6 zettabytes, or the equivalent of 5 trillion hours of webcam business Web conferencing.

The vendor said that its study, which projects cloud traffic through 2015, indicates that cloud computing is the fastest growing segment of data center traffic, estimated to jump four-fold to 4.8 zettabytes by the end of the period. Cloud computing currently comprises about 11 percent of data center traffic but is expected to amount to 33 percent of the total by 2015, officials said.

In addition, Cisco said that by 2014, about 51 percent of data center workloads will be cloud-based, a level the vendor suggested would mark a watershed in cloud computing’s growth because it will exceed traditional IT space.

Cisco’s Global Cloud Index estimates global data center and cloud-based Internet Protocol (IP) traffic growth and trends, the goal of which is to offer insights and visibility into emerging data center trends and cloud architectures to help organizations make strategic long-term decisions.

To compile the report, the vendor relied on some 30 terabytes of data generated each month over the past year from data centers worldwide, measurements of more than 45 million broadband speed tests and third-party market forecasts.

"Cloud and data center traffic is exploding, driven by user demand to access volumes of content on the devices of their choice,” said Suraj Shetty, Cisco vice president, product and solutions marketing.

“The result [is] greater data center virtualization and relevance of the network for cloud applications and the need to make sense of a dynamically evolving situation,” he said.

According to Cisco, the overwhelming majority of data center traffic derives from data centers and clouds in activities such as backup and replication.

Cisco’s Global Cloud Index includes data on the workload shift from traditional data centers to the cloud and a cloud readiness component that analyzes networks’ abilities to support various types of business and consumer cloud-computing services. The study included geographic regions Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America.

To assess overall readiness, broadband ubiquity, average upload and download speeds, and average latency were assessed across each geographic region, all of which the vendor said currently are ready for basic cloud-computing applications such as social networking and Web conferencing.

TAGS: Cloud,data center,Cisco,Global Cloud Index

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