Percentage of Data Center Traffic in the Cloud, 2012-2013
More than two-thirds of global data center traffic will be represented by cloud-based traffic by 2017. Cloud traffic will have grown more than fourfold from 2012 to 2017. Cloud-based traffic is already poised comprise the majority of traffic within the next few months.
That’s the conclusion of the latest, and third annual, Cisco Global Cloud Index, which projects that global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data center traffic, is expected to grow 4.5-fold – 35 percent a year – from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012 to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017. Currently, cloud traffic accounts for about half of all data center traffic, and will comprise the majority of traffic next year. By 2017, this portion will reach 69 percent. (A zettabyte is one billion terabytes. )
Cisco’s estimates are generated by modeling and analysis of various primary and secondary sources, including 40 terabytes of monthly traffic sampled from a variety of global data centers over the past year, results from more than 90 million network tests, and third-party market research reports. (Disclosure: the author has conducted project work for Cisco over the past six months, not related to this study.)
Typical business cloud workloads reflected in the study include communications, VoIP, web conferencing, ERP/CRM, IP audio conferencing, video conferencing, and virtual office. Sample consumerish workloads include communications, web browsing, e-banking, gaming, social networking, basic video/ music streaming, smart home, online shopping, connected education, connected medicine, video chat, and video streaming.
Approximately 17 percent of data center traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices. Another seven percent will be traffic generated between data centers, primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. An additional 76 percent of data center traffic will stay within the data center and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data in a virtualized environment.
North America dominates in terms of cloud traffic, generating 469 exabytes annually. Asia Pacific follows with 319 exabytes, and Western Europe with 225 exabytes. Asia Pacific will catch up to North America by 2017 — generating 1,876 zettabytes, compared to North America’s projected flow of 1,886 zettabytes. Western Europe will be generating 770 exabytes a year by that time.
Volume of Cloud Traffic, 2012-2013