A Peek at the Future of Data Centers and Cloud Solutions

With the release of its latest report, Cisco predicts cloud traffic will eclipse traditional data center traffic within five years.

Data center and cloud traffic will explode over the next five years, according to new research from global IT leader Cisco.

Released earlier this week, the fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index projects that annual global data center IP traffic will hit 10.4 zettabytes (ZB) in 2019, up from 3.4 ZB in 2014. Annual global cloud IP traffic will more than quadruple during that time period, growing from 2.1 to 8.6 ZB.

Cisco attributes the anticipated rapid growth of cloud traffic — which would represent 83 percent of total data center traffic in 2019 — to the technology’s acceptance into the mainstream.

“Enterprise and government organizations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads,” Doug Webster, Cisco’s vice president of service provider marketing, said in a statement.

According to the report, businesses will also put more of their trust into public cloud solutions. The percentage of cloud workloads running in private cloud data centers will drop from 70 percent in 2014 to 44 percent in 2019. During the period of that decline, the percentage of workloads in public cloud data centers will grow to 56 percent. The Global Cloud Index offers an explanation for the tipping point, which is expected to occur in 2018:

As the business sensitivity to costs associated with dedicated IT resources grows along with demand for agility, we can see a greater adoption of public cloud by the businesses, especially with strengthening of public cloud security. Many enterprises will adopt a hybrid approach to cloud as they transition some workloads from internally managed private clouds to externally managed public clouds.

The report also projects that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) will all continue growing, even as the distribution of workloads shifts. SaaS workloads are expected to increase to 59 percent of total cloud workloads by 2019, while IaaS and PaaS workloads are expected to decline to 30 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

The trend toward multidevice ownership and the growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE) will also leave their mark on business and consumer traffic, Cisco predicts:

An extraordinary amount of data is being generated by IoE applications — to the tune of 500 ZB by 2019. However, only a relatively very small portion of that content (about 3.5 ZB), will be stored. Over time, more and more of the data resident on client devices will move to the data center.

In his statement, Webster says users’ expectations of anytime, anywhere access to their content will make cloud data centers the solution of choice.

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

Oct 29 2015