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Cisco predicts Hyperscale data centre traffic to quintuple in next five years

Fri 11 Nov 2016

Cloud and DC providers looking for some post-election cheer could do worse than take a look at Cisco’s sixth Annual Cloud Index, which not only augurs a 3.7-fold rise in cloud traffic between 2015-2020 – from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) to 14.1zb – but a five-fold rise in Hyperscale data centre traffic in the same period.

Cisco’s report was produced in collaboration with Gartner, IDC, Ovum, ITU, Juniper Research and the United Nations, and predicts a rise in the number of Hyperscale data centres, from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020.

The report attributes the rise in cloud traffic to accelerating migration to cloud architectures. It also notes the significant influence of data centre virtualisation in helping providers to achieve operational efficiencies and optimum performance.

Cisco predict that by 2020 92% of workloads will be passing through cloud data centres, leaving a mere 9% for the on-premises sector, and also that traditional data centre traffic will reach 1.3zb per year – an increase from the 827 exabytes (EB) of 2015.

Global data centre storage is predicted to quintuple from 171eb to 915eb, while IoT-generated traffic will rise to 600zb per year – 275 times higher than anticipated traffic heading from DCs to end-users.

The report notes that video and social networking will account for most of the projected increases in consumer workloads, while data flow from analytics, Big Data and IoT will increase business use of these segments from 20 to 22%.

The report emphasises the rise of the consumer workload and the scaling back of the business workload in the data centre itself; though the latter is set to grow in volume by a factor of 2.4, its presence in the DC space will reduce from 79 to 72%.

According to Cisco, public cloud is growing at a much faster rate than private cloud, with a forecast that 68% of cloud workloads will reside in public data centres, against 49% in 2015. The report anticipates a drop of private DC usage, over the five year period, from 51% in 2015 to 32% by 2020.

Video streaming workload is estimated to rise from 29% to 34% of total consumer workloads within that time-frame, whilst social networking workloads will rise from 20% to 24% of total consumer workloads.

Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco commented of the report:

“In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers of all types around the globe… Powered by video, IoT, SDN/NFV and more, we forecast this significant cloud migration and the increased amount of network traffic generated as a result to continue at a rapid rate as operators streamline infrastructures to help them more profitably deliver IP-based services businesses and consumers alike.”


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