Data Center Cloud Traffic Growing at 35 Percent

New data center research from Cisco predicted large growth in cloud traffic within data centers.

By 2017, cloud IP traffic is poised to comprise more than two-thirds of global data center workload. Additionally, cloud IP exchange will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent between 2012 and 2017. The study also stated that within the last three months of 2013, cloud data will represent the majority of data traffic within facilities. Furthermore, 69 percent of all usage within data centers will occur within the cloud by 2017.

According to study findings, cloud data center traffic totaled 1.2 zettabytes annually in 2012. That number will increase to 5.3 zettabytes of cloud data traffic by 2017.

Furthermore, all data center IP traffic will reach 7.7 zettabytes by 2017. According to ZDNet, 7.7 zettabytes is equal to 107 trillion hours of streaming music, 8 trillion hours of online HD video streaming or 19 trillion hours of business Web conferencing.

Cisco determined these figures by analyzing network architecture, cloud and traffic data from 10 Internet and enterprise centers, analyzing 40 terabytes of monthly workload data for 12 months. Cisco also drew upon information from more than 90 million network tests, as well as third party market research reports.

Sources of Cloud Traffic
This boost in cloud traffic will come from a variety of sources. Unified communication tools including VoIP telephony, web conferencing, IP audio conferencing, video conferencing and virtual office applications all utilize the cloud for data traffic. In addition, consumer workloads like web browsing, e-banking capabilities, games, social networking, streaming applications and online shopping also occur within the cloud.

The data center research found that about 17 percent of data center traffic will be the result of end users utilizing consumer applications like video streaming and connected device capabilities. Exchange between data centers will represent 7 percent of traffic, and 76 percent will remain within facilities as stored production and development data inside a virtual environment.

Doug Merritt, Cisco senior vice president of product and solutions marketing said that users are increasing their demands to access data on a variety of devices.

“Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic within, between and beyond data centers over the next four years,” Merritt said.

On a Global Scale
Cisco also found that globally, North America produces the most cloud traffic, with 469 exabytes generated annually. Asia Pacific produces 319 exabytes each year and Western Europe generates 225 exabytes. However, Asia Pacific will soon catch up to North America, as projected figures place Asia Pacific at 1,876 zettabytes by 2017 and North America at 1,886 zettabytes.

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