The fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index, forecasts that global cloud traffic will more than quadruple by the end of 2019, from 2.1 to 8.6 zettabytes (ZB), outpacing the growth of total global data centre traffic, which is forecast to triple during the same time frame (from 3.4 to 10.4 ZB).
Cisco believes this growth will be driven by the personal cloud demands of an increasing number of mobile devices; the rapid growth in popularity of public cloud services for business, and the increased degree of virtualisation in private clouds which is increasing the density of those workloads. The growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections also has the potential to drive more cloud traffic in the future.
Today, 73 percent of data stored on client devices resides on PCs. By 2019, the majority of stored data (51 percent) will move to non-PC devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, M2M modules, et al.). With the volume of stored data increasing, Cisco predicts a greater demand and use for consumer cloud storage. By 2019, 55 percent of the residential Internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42 percent in 2014). As an example, the forecast estimates that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201 EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored (179 EB per year) on those devices – necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities via the cloud.
The Cisco Cloud Index projects that public cloud workloads are going to grow at a 44-percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2019 and private cloud workloads will grow at a slower pace (16-percent CAGR) from 2014 to 2019. It also believes the majority of the workloads will be held in the public cloud. By 2019, 56 percent of the cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centers, up from 30 percent in 2014. (CAGR of 44 percent from 2014 to 2019.) Whereas by 2019, 44 percent of the cloud workloads will be in private cloud data centers, down from 70 percent in 2014. (CAGR of 16 percent from 2014 to 2019.)
Cisco has looked at the split on cloud and estimates that Software-as-a-Service will be the dominant platform by 2019 with;
- 59 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 45 percent in 2014.
- 30 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) workloads, down from 42 percent in 2014.
- 11 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) workloads, down from 13 percent in 2014.
In addition to the rapid growth of cloud traffic, Cisco predicts that the Internet of Everything (IoE) - their term for the expansion on the Internet of things which includes the connection of people, processes, data and things—could have a significant impact on data centre and cloud traffic growth.
According to Cisco a broad range of IoE applications are generating large volumes of data that could reach 507.5 ZB per year (42.3 ZB per month) by 2019. That’s 49 times greater than the projected data center traffic for 2019 (10.4 ZB). Today, only a small portion of this content is stored in data centres, but Cisco thinks that it could change as the application demand and uses of big data analytics evolves (i.e., analysing collected data to make tactical and strategic decisions) and as cities get smarter. Cisco estimates a smart city of 1 million will generate 180 million gigabytes of data per day by 2019.
“The Global Cloud Index highlights the fact that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution globally, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30 percent in every worldwide region over the next five years,” said Doug Webster, vice president of service provider marketing, Cisco. “Enterprise and government organizations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.”