Global cloud traffic to increase more than fourfold to 2017 – Cisco

18 Oct 2013

Global cloud traffic is expected to grow 4.5-fold – a 35pc combined annual growth rate (CAGR) – from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012 to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017, the third annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2012-2017) suggests.

Global cloud traffic is the fastest-growing component of data-centre traffic, according to Cisco.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts the following regions will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate between 2012-2017:

  • The Middle East and Africa (57pc CAGR)
  • Asia-Pacific (43pc CAGR)
  • Central and Eastern Europe (36pc CAGR)

Overall, global data-centre traffic will grow threefold and reach a total of 7.7 zettabytes annually by 2017, the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2012 – 2017) reveals.

A zettabyte is 1bn terabytes, and 7.7 zettabytes is equivalent to 107trn hours of streaming music, or about 1.5 years of continuous music streaming for the world’s population in 2017.

Drivers of this traffic include storage, production and development data in a virtualised environment, which will largely drive 76pc of data-centre traffic that will stay within the data centre itself, according to the index.

End users are behind 17pc of data-centre traffic, as they access clouds for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices.

The index also forecasts that 7pc of data-centre traffic will be generated between data centres, primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates.

“People all over the world continue to demand the ability to access personal, business and entertainment content anywhere on any device, and each transaction in a virtualised, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network,” said Doug Merritt, senior vice-president, Product and Solutions Marketing, Cisco.

“Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic within, between and beyond data centres over the next four years.”

Global data centre image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic