Plenty. After all, it is Cisco gear that powers the data centers that drive the cloud. And by looking at demands for its networking and server gear, the company can predict future traffic.
Cisco now says cloud traffic will more than quadruple by 2017, growing at a CAGR of 35 percent.
And the cloud will come to utterly dominate data centers. Also by 2017 a full two thirds of data center traffic will be cloud traffic.
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And next year is the tipping point when cloud traffic represents the majority of data center traffic.
This is actually great news. You see, the cloud is a far more efficient use of data center resources than traditional applications, as the cloud is highly virtualized, acts as a utility, and exploits nearly every computing cycle the data center has to offer.
As energy costs soar and enterprises run out of capacity, data center efficiency becomes a crucial issue. The cloud is that data center efficiency.
There are economic implications for enterprises moving to this more efficient model, and at the same time global issues. More efficient use of energy has implications for global energy markets and pricing, global warming, and impacts how long certain sources such as fossil fuels may last.
Cisco has been tracking the cloud for three years, its latest report; the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2012-2017) was released just this week.
In it, Cisco predicts cloud traffic around the world will increase 4.5 times over the next four years to an astonishing 5.3 zettabytes. Overall data center traffic will be 7.7 zettabytes. So what’s a zettabyte? How about 1 billion terabytes? That’s a heckuva lot of iTunes downloads!
Cisco has better examples. 7.7 zettabyes is 107 trillion hours’ worth of streaming music, or 8 trillion hours of HD video.
In fact much of the cloud will be burned up by consumer use such video. But the Internet of Everything and collaboration are also driving factors.
Meanwhile some 7 percent of traffic will be data replication and 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 virtualized, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network,” said Doug Merritt, senior vice president of product and solutions marketing for Cisco. “Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic within, between and beyond data centers over the next four years.”
The area of most growth will be the Middle East and Africa, which will experience a 57 percent CAGR.