Cloud traffic to grow sixfold by 2016

At the current rate the cloud is being use it will need a traffic cop to manage the workflow.

According to the annual Global Cloud Index Forecast, produced by networking giant Cisco Systems, global data centre traffic is expected to grow fourfold and reach an astounding total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016.

The Cloud Index also found that the fastest-growing component of data centre traffic is the cloud portion of it and that will grow sixfold; a whopping 44 per cent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) – from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016.

Most people have not heard of Z-bytes let alone dealt with it, but to give you an idea:

6.6 zettabytes is equivalent to 92 trillion hours of streaming music. That’s about 1.5 years of continuous music streaming for the world’s population in 2016.

6.6 Z-bytes is the same as 16 trillion hours of business Web conferencing or the equivalent to about 12 hours of daily Web conferencing for the world’s workforce in 2016.

In terms of video traffic, 6.6 Z-bytes is the same as seven trillion hours of online high-definition video streaming and that’s quivalent to about 2.5 hours of daily streamed HD video for the world’s population in 2016.

The vast majority of the data centre traffic is not caused by end users but by data centres and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals. For the period 2011-2016, the Cloud Index forecasts that roughly 76 per cent of data centre traffic will stay within the data centre and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data. An additional seven per cent of data centre traffic will be generated between data centres, primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. The remaining 17 per cent of data centre traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for Web surfing, emailing and video streaming.

From a regional perspective, the Cloud Index predicts that through 2016, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate, while the Asia Pacific region will process the most cloud workloads, followed by North America.

Doug Merritt, senior vice president, Corporate Marketing for Cisco, said this year’s forecast confirms that strong growth in data centre usage and cloud traffic are global trends, driven by our growing desire to access personal and business content anywhere, on any device. When you couple this growth with projected increases in connected devices and objects, the next-generation Internet will be an essential component to enabling much greater data center virtualization and a new world of interconnected clouds.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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