Cloud Traffic to Quadruple by 2019, According to Cisco Global Cloud Index

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Global cloud traffic will more than quadruple by the end of 2019, from 2.1 to 8.6 zettabytes (ZB), according to the fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019). Cloud traffic growth is outpacing the growth of total global data center traffic, which is forecast to triple during the same time frame (from 3.4 to 10.4 ZB).

By region, North America will have the highest cloud traffic volume (3.6 ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.3 ZB) and Western Europe (1.5 ZB). By region, North America will also have the highest data center traffic volume (4.5 ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.7 ZB) and Western Europe (1.8 ZB).

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. The growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections also has the potential to drive more cloud traffic in the future.

Internet of Everything (IoE)

In addition to the rapid growth of cloud traffic, Cisco predicts that the Internet of Everything (IoE) — the connection of people, processes, data and things – could have a significant impact on data center and cloud traffic growth. A broad range of IoE applications are generating large volumes of data that could reach 507.5 ZB per year (42.3 ZB per month) by 2019. That’s 49 times greater than the projected data center traffic for 2019 (10.4 ZB).

cisco-cloudToday, 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).

“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 creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.”

To help put things in perspective, 10.4 ZB is equivalent to:

  • 144 trillion hours of streaming music – equivalent to about 26 months of continuous music streaming for the world’s population in 2019.
  • 26 trillion hours of business web conferencing with a webcam – equivalent to about 21 hours of daily web conferencing for the world’s workforce in 2019.
  • 8 trillion hours of high-definition (HD) movies viewed online – equivalent to about 2.4 hours of daily streamed HD movies for the world’s population in 2019.
  • 2 trillion hours of ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming – equivalent to about 25 minutes of daily streamed UHD video for the world’s population in 2019.

With businesses increasingly assessing the cost associated with IT dedicated resources and demanding for more agility, public cloud adoption will rise. The Cisco Cloud Index projects:

  • cisco-intercloudPublic cloud workloads are going to grow at a 44-percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2019 and private cloud workloads will grow at a slower pace (16-percent CAGR) from 2014 to 2019.
  • By 2019, 56 percent of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centers, up from 30 percent in 2014 (CAGR of 44 percent from 2014 to 2019).
  • By 2019, 44 percent of the cloud workloads will be in private cloud data centers, down from 70 percent in 2014 (CAGR of 16 percent from 2014 to 2019).

Global Cloud Workloads
SaaS will be the most popular and adopted service model for public and private cloud workloads, respectively, by 2019.

  • By 2019, 59 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 45 percent in 2014.
  • By 2019, 30 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) workloads, down from 42 percent in 2014.
  • By 2019, 11 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) workloads, down from 13 percent in 2014.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019) was developed to estimate global data center and cloud-based traffic growth and trends. The report serves as a complementary resource to existing Internet Protocol (IP) network traffic studies such as the Cisco Visual Networking Index, providing new insights and visibility into emerging trends affecting data centers and cloud architectures.