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Cloud to represent 76% of total data centre traffic by 2018, Cisco forecasts

Tue 4 Nov 2014

By 2018 global data centre traffic is expected to triple with cloud representing over three quarters of overall traffic, according to a Cisco report issued today.

Public cloud services and Software as a Service (SaaS) are set to dominate the workload, with an increasing number of businesses adopting these models.

In its Global Cloud Index report (2013-2018), Cisco predicts that the total data centre traffic will triple in volume, growing at least 23 per cent every year.

Last year, cloud accounted for 54 per cent of total data centre traffic. This is expected to rise to 76 per cent by 2018. Data centre traffic refers to both data centre-to-user communication, as well as data centre-to-data centre traffic. Currently cloud contributes to a total of 2,277 exabytes, out of 3,829 exabytes of generated data. Over the next four years, this volume is predicted to grow to 6,496 cloud-generated exabytes out of a total 8,574 exabytes.

Cisco suggests that the workload generated by public cloud services will grow annually at a rate of 33 per cent. By 2018, 31 per cent of cloud workloads will be hosted in public cloud data centres, an increase of 22 per cent compared to last year.

Private cloud workloads are expected to grow 21 per cent each year. Cisco predicts that 69 per cent of cloud workloads will be stored in private cloud data centres, a drop of 78 per cent from 2013.

These predictions suggest that despite the growing popularity of public cloud models, there is still a large majority of current cloud workloads processed through a private cloud environment. Although public cloud workloads are set to grow by 2018, nearly 70 per cent of overall cloud workloads will still be linked to private clouds.

Cisco Senior VP (Service Provider Business, Products, and Solutions) Kelly Ahuja commented that this outlook would require “the ability of workloads to bridge across a hybrid private/public cloud environment.”

Software as a Service traffic is also expected to rise, with 59 per cent share of the total cloud workloads, up from 41 per cent in 2013. A reduction however will be seen for both Infrastructure and Platform as a Service traffic (IaaS and PaaS). The report does not outline a reason behind a fall in traffic for these two cloud models, it is assumed however that traffic in these areas will continue to grow but at a slower pace than SaaS.

Concluding the report, Cisco outlines the impact of the Internet of Things on cloud computing. The data created by IoT devices is expected to be 277 times higher than the amount of data which is transmitted to data centres from end-user devices, and almost double the total data centre traffic by 2018.

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