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Cisco: Cloud Traffic Will Quadruple to 8.6 ZB by 2019
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October 30, 2015

Cisco: Cloud Traffic Will Quadruple to 8.6 ZB by 2019

By Laura Stotler
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Cloud traffic has been increasing exponentially over the past several years, but new findings from Cisco (News - Alert) reveal just how extensive growth will be in the coming months. The fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index forecasts cloud traffic throughout the world is set to quadruple from 2014 to the end of 2019. That means traffic will jump from 2.1 zettabytes to an impressive 8.6 ZB.

And global data center traffic is set to grow concurrently, tripling from 3.4 to 10.4 ZB during that timeframe. According to Cisco’s findings, an increasing number of mobile devices are playing a large role in growth as personal cloud demands skyrocket, along with increased use of public cloud services by businesses. Other important growth factors include more virtualization in private clouds, creating denser workloads, as well as skyrocketing popularity of M2M connections, which will ultimately generate additional cloud traffic.

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"The Global Cloud Index highlights the fact that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution globally, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30 percent in every worldwide region over the next five years," said Doug Webster, vice president of service provider marketing, Cisco. "Enterprise and government organizations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere.”

This atmosphere ultimately translates to massive opportunities for cloud operators, and Cisco forecasts they will become an increasingly important part of the communications services ecosystem. Other interesting forecasts include growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE), which Cisco defines as connections among people, processes, data and things. IoE applications will generate data to the tune of a projected 507.5 ZB per year by 2019, which is 49 times the amount of data center traffic predicted for that timeframe.

But data center traffic is certainly changing and growing as well, impacted by trends like SDN and NFV, which are designed to streamline traffic flows. That means the traffic to and from the core of the data center may fall to less than 10.4 ZB per year while lower tiers in the data center may see bumps to more than 40 ZB per year. Virtualization is also set to have a major impact on cloud data center workloads, increasing workload density from 5.1 in 2014 to 8.4 by 2019. Workload density in traditional data centers is expected to grow from 2.0 to 3.2 during that same time period. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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