Cisco Cloud Index: Cloud to represent 76% of datacentre traffic by 2018

Over the next five years, datacentre traffic will nearly triple with cloud representing more than three quarters of the total traffic

Over the next five years, datacentre traffic will nearly treble with cloud representing more than three quarters (76%) of the total global datacentre traffic, Cisco’s annual Cloud Index study has revealed.

The study forecast a continued strong growth of cloud traffic, cloud workloads and cloud storage services. It also showed use of private cloud is significantly larger than the use of public cloud services.

According to the study, global datacentre traffic will have a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%, growing from 3.1 zettabytes per year in 2013 to 8.6 zettabytes per year in 2018. A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes. 

The 8.6 zettabytes of datacentre traffic predicted for 2018 is equivalent to streaming all of the movies (approximately 500,000) and television shows (three million) ever made in ultra-high definition (UHD) 250,000 times, according to the datacentre network service provider.

The cloud index study also forecast by 2018, about half of the world’s population will have residential internet access, and more than half of those users' (53%) content will be supported by personal cloud storage services.

It also found global cloud traffic is growing faster than the overall global datacentre traffic. In 2013, cloud accounted for 54% of total datacentre traffic.

This includes datacentre-to-user traffic, along with datacentre-to-datacentre traffic and traffic that remains within datacentres.

By 2018, 53% of all residential internet users globally will use personal cloud storage, and the average consumer cloud storage traffic per user will be 811 MBs per month, compared with 186 MBs per month in 2013, the global study further forecast.

Private vs. Public Cloud

Cisco’s senior vice-president of its service provider business Kelly Ahuja said when people talk about cloud, they often focus on public cloud services or public cloud storage services. 

Even with public cloud workloads having significant growth, by 2018, almost 70% of cloud workloads will still be private cloud-related

Kelly Alhuja, Cisco

“However, a very significant majority of today’s cloud workloads are actually processed in private cloud environments," she said.

“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.” 

By 2018, Cisco predicted 69% (113.5 million) of the cloud workloads will be in private cloud datacentres, down from 78% (44.2 million) in 2013, while 31% (52 million) of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud datacentres, up from 22% (12.7 million) in 2013.

The study also assessed the global cloud readiness and found the number of countries deemed cloud-ready is growing. In 2013, 79 countries met the single advanced application criteria for fixed networks, whereas in 2014 that number grew to 109 countries. 

In 2013, 42 countries met the intermediate single application readiness criteria for mobile networks, compared with 52 countries in 2014.

French analyst firm Markess reported the cloud computing market in France alone has increased from €2.2bn in 2012 to €4.1bn in 2014, as more companies adopt cloud to deploy web-centric workloads or transform their existing operations. 

As cloud computing services’ benefits such as agility and scalability tempt more enterprises to adopt it, security and data protection still remain key concerns for users.

To allay users’ data sovereignty and privacy concerns and to further propel the use of cloud services in the growing European market, cloud giants including Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and VMware are building local datacentres in the European Union (EU).  

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