Cloud traffic set to dominate data centres

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Cisco's latest annual Global Cloud Index has revealed that cloud traffic will represent 95 per cent of all total data centre traffic by the year 2021. 

The seventh iteration of the firm's report takes a deeper look at cloud computing and data centre virtualisation and provides insights into how these areas will evolve over the next three years.    

Consumer and business applications are both contributing to wider use of cloud services over the Internet with with consumers utilising streaming video, social networking and web searches while businesses are taking advantage of the cloud for collaboration, analytics, enterprise resource planning and other digital enterprise applications. 

According to Cisco's study, data centre traffic will reach 19.6 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021 which is up from 2016's six ZB due to a 27 per cent compound annual growth rate.  On a global scale, cloud data centre traffic will make up 95 per cent of total data centre traffic by 2021, compared to 88 per cent in 2016.

Improved security in the form of better data centre governance and data control have both helped to minimise the risk of cloud adoption for enterprises and offer more protections for consumer data.  Cisco also noted that growing Internet of Things (IoT) applications in the form of smart cities, smart cars and connected health will place greater demands on data centres and in turn will fuel increased growth.  By 2021, the company expects that IoT connections will reach 13.7 billion which is more than double 2016's 5.8 billion. 

Increased demand for cloud resources has led to the development of large-scale public cloud data centres called hyperscale data centres and Cisco expects that by 2021 there will be 628 hyperscale data centres worldwide.  This too is almost double 2016's 338. 

Vice President of Cisco's Cloud Platform and Solutions Group, Kip Compton offered further insight on the study's findings, saying: 

“Data center application growth is clearly exploding in this new multicloud world.  This projected growth will require new innovations especially in the areas of public, private and hybrid clouds.” 

The use of cloud services has increased tremendously in the past few years and if Cisco's forecast is correct it will continue to do so at a rapid pace in the years to come. 

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