This article was originally published on Telecom Asia
Global cloud traffic is set to more than quadruple by the end of 2019, outpacing the growth of total global data center traffic, according to Cisco’s newly released annual Cloud Index.
The Cisco Cloud Index projects that annual global cloud traffic is expected to hit 8.6 zettabytes (ZB) by the end of 2019, up from 2.1 ZB in 2014. This will account for 83% of total data center traffic, which is expected to triple during the same time frame (3.4 to 10.4ZB).
By region, North America will have the highest cloud traffic volume (3.6ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.3 ZB) and Western Europe (1.5ZB). North America will also have the highest data center traffic volume (4.5ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.7 ZB) and Western Europe (1.8ZB).
Cloud traffic, a subset of data center traffic, is generated by cloud services accessible through the internet from scalable, virtualized cloud data centers, whereas total data center traffic is comprised of all traffic traversing within and between data centers as well as to end users.
Several factors are driving cloud traffic’s accelerating growth and the transition to cloud services, including the personal cloud demands of an increasing number of mobile devices; the rapid growth in popularity of public cloud services for business, and the increased degree of virtualization in private clouds which is increasing the density of those workloads.
Consumer cloud storage
With the volume of stored data increasing, Cisco predicts a greater demand and use for consumer cloud storage.
As an example, Cisco predicts that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored (179EB per year) on those devices – necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities via the cloud.
By 2019, 55% (more than 2 billion users) of the residential internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42% in 2014).
This will drive global consumer cloud storage traffic per user to 1.6 gigabytes per month by 2019, from 992 megabytes per month in 2014.
Cisco believes that emergence and proliferation of Internet of Everything (IoE) i.e. the connection of people, processes, data and things, will also play a major role in increase in cloud data as well as data center traffic in the future.
The firm says that IoE applications have the potential of generating large volumes of data that could reach 507.5ZB per year (42.3ZB per month) by 2019, up from 134.5 zettabytes per year (11.2ZB per month) in 2014.
Cisco says nowadays only a small portion of this content is stored in data centers, but that could change as the application demand and uses of big data analytics evolves (i.e., analyzing collected data to make tactical and strategic decisions).
Private vs. public cloud growth
Public cloud is growing faster than private cloud, which includes cloud infrastructure operated for a single organization, in terms of workloads. However, throughout the five-year forecast, private cloud will continue to outpace public cloud in its degree of virtualization.
Overall data center workloads will more than double from 2014 to 2019; however, cloud workloads will more than triple over the same period.
Cisco forecasts that public cloud workloads are going to grow at a 44% CAGR from 2014 to 2019 and private cloud workloads will grow at a slower pace (16% CAGR) during the same period.
By 2019, 56% of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centers (up from 30% in 2014, and the remaining 44% will be in private cloud data centers (down from 70% in 2014).
Meanwhile, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is set to become the most popular and adopted service model for public and private cloud workloads, respectively, by 2019.