Cisco UCS gear installed in a data center (Photo: Cisco)

Cisco: Data Center Traffic Will Triple by 2018

Cisco has published the 2014 installment of its annual Global Cloud Index. The index projects data center traffic to nearly triple on the back of cloud growth in the next five years to 8.6 zettabytes annually by 2018.

Traffic will grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent, the report forecasted. This traffic is equivalent to streaming all the movies (around half a million) and TV shows (3 million) ever made 250,000 times. The number counts traffic from data center to user and data center to data center.

The cloud piece of the traffic pie is up significantly (9 percent) from last year’s study projecting out to 2017. The 2012 results predicted similar trends, including growth of consumer cloud traffic, cloud expected to represent two-thirds of data center traffic by 2016.

Growing Internet access for the world and consumer cloud usage (personal cloud storage) also significantly contributes to this growth. The United Nations predicts the world’ population will be 7.6 billion people in 2018. Cisco predicts half the population will have residential Internet access and half of those users will use personal cloud.

More countries will be “cloud ready” according to the study. The number of countries that met single advanced application criteria for fixed network jumped from 79 in 2013 to 109 in 2014.

A recent report by International Data Corporation predicts public cloud revenue to reach more than $127 billion in the same time frame. Cisco’s annual overall traffic growth is in the same ballpark as IDC’s annual cloud growth rate at 23 percent.

Consumer cloud storage is expected to grow significantly, with the average user contributing over 800 megabytes of traffic monthly, about five times the 2013 numbers.

Both public and private cloud usage will grow significantly. “When people discuss cloud, they often focus on public cloud services or public cloud storage services,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, service provider business at Cisco. “However, a very significant majority of today’s cloud workloads are actually processed in private cloud environments. Even with public cloud workloads having significant growth, by 2018, almost 70% of cloud workloads will still be private cloud-related, requiring the ability of workloads to bridge across a hybrid private/public cloud environment.”

The split between public and private cloud workloads

The split between public and private cloud workloads


The countries with the leading fixed network performance in 2014 are (in alphabetical order) Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

The countries with the leading mobile network performance in 2014 are (in alphabetical order) Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar and Uruguay.

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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