In the second annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011-2016), Cisco forecasts global data center traffic to grow fourfold -- reaching a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016.
The company also predicts global cloud traffic, the fastest-growing component of data center traffic, to grow sixfold -- a 44 percent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) -- from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016.
Key Findings from the Global Cloud Index include:
- Cloud traffic growth by region: The Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate from 2011 to 2016: The Cisco Global Cloud Index now includes regional forecast data for cloud traffic growth.
- In 2011, North America generated the most cloud traffic (261 exabytes annually); followed by Asia Pacific; (216 exabytes annually); and Western Europe (156 exabytes annually).
- By 2016, Asia Pacific will generate the most cloud traffic (1.5 zettabytes annually); followed by North America (1.1 zettabytes annually); and Western Europe (963 exabytes annually).
- From 2011 to 2016, Cisco foresees the Middle East and Africa as having the highest cloud traffic growth rate (79 percent CAGR); followed by Latin America (66 percent CAGR); and Central and Eastern Europe (55 percent CAGR).
- Workload growth by region: By 2016, Asia Pacific will have processed the most cloud workloads, followed by North America: The Cisco Global Cloud Index now includes regional forecast data for workload growth.
- In 2011, North America had the most cloud workloads (8.1 million, or 38 percent of the global cloud workloads); followed by Asia Pacific, which had 6.7 million, or 32 percent of the global workloads in 2011.
- By 2016, Asia Pacific will process the most cloud workloads (40.6 million, or 36 percent of the global cloud workloads); followed by North America, which will have 17.4 million, or 26 percent of the global workloads in 2016.
- From 2011 to 2016, the Middle East and Africa region is expected to have the highest cloud workload growth rate (73 percent CAGR); followed by Latin America (60 percent CAGR); and Central and Eastern Europe (50 percent CAGR).
- In North America, traditional data center workloads will actually decline from 2011 to 2016 (from 18.3 million in 2011 to 17.4 million in 2016), falling to a negative 1 percent CAGR.
- Global data center traffic growth will increase fourfold by 2016. Cisco forecasts that global data center traffic will nearly quadruple, from 1.8 zettabytes in 2011 to 6.6 zettabytes annually in 2016, representing a 31 percent CAGR.
- Global cloud traffic will account for nearly two-thirds of total global data center traffic. Globally, cloud traffic will grow from 39 percent (57 exabytes per month and 683 exabytes annually) of total data center traffic in 2011 to 64 percent (almost two-thirds - 355 exabytes per month and 4.3 zettabytes annually) of total data center traffic in 2016.
- Global cloud traffic will grow faster than overall global data center traffic. The transition to cloud services is driving global cloud traffic at a growth rate greater than global data center traffic. Global data center traffic will grow fourfold (a 31 percent CAGR) from 2011 to 2016, while global cloud traffic will grow sixfold (a 44 percent CAGR) over the same period.
- Workload transitions: From 2011 to 2016, data center workloads will grow 2.5-fold; cloud workloads will grow 5.3-fold. In 2011, 30 percent of workloads were processed in the cloud, with 70 percent being handled in a traditional data center.
- 2014 will be the first year when the majority of workloads shift to the cloud; 52 percent of all workloads will be processed in the cloud versus 48 percent in the traditional IT space.
- By 2016, 62 percent or nearly two-thirds of total workloads will be processed in the cloud.
- The average workload per physical cloud server will grow from 4.2 in 2011 to 8.5 by 2016. In comparison the average workload per traditional data center physical server will grow from 1.5 in 2011 to 2.0 in 2016.
"As cloud traffic continues to proliferate in a new world of many clouds, the Cisco Global Cloud Index provides all cloud computing stakeholders with a very valuable barometer to make strategic, long-term planning decisions. This year's forecast confirms that strong growth in data center usage and cloud traffic are global trends, driven by our growing desire to access personal and business content anywhere, on any device. When you couple this growth with projected increases in connected devices and objects, the next-generation Internet will be an essential component to enabling much greater data center virtualization and a new world of interconnected clouds," said Doug Merritt, senior vice president, Corporate Marketing at Cisco Systems.
View the video -- "Top Trends Behind the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011 – 2016)" -- featuring Cisco's Thomas Barnett.
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