Global cloud traffic to reach 95% of data center traffic by 2021

Cisco has released the seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) focused on data center virtualization and cloud computing which talks about cloud traffic reaching 19.5 ZB by 2021

The global cloud data center traffic is expected to reach 19.5 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021, up from 6.0 ZB per year in 2016 representing 95 percent of total data center traffic by 2021, compared to 88 percent in 2016.

According to the study, both consumer and business applications are contributing to the growing dominance of cloud services over the Internet. For consumers, streaming video, social networking and Internet search are among the most popular cloud applications. For business users, enterprise resource planning (ERP), collaboration, analytics and other digital enterprise applications represent leading growth areas.

Additionally, the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as smart cars, smart cities, connected health and digital utilities requires scalable computing and storage solutions to accommodate new and expanding data center demands. By 2021, Cisco expects IoT connections to reach 13.7 billion, up from 5.8 billion in 2016.

The increasing need for data center and cloud resources has led to the development of large-scale public cloud data centers called hyperscale data centers. In this year’s forecast, it is expected that by 2021 there will be 628 hyperscale data centers globally, compared to 338 in 2016, 1.9-fold growth or near doubling over the forecast period.

“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,” said Kip Compton, Vice President of Cisco’s Cloud Platform and Solutions Group.

By 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers; 6 percent will be processed by traditional data centers. 
Globally, the data stored in data centers will nearly quintuple by 2021 to reach 1.3 ZB by 2021, up 4.6-fold (a CAGR of 36%) from 286 EB in 2016.

Global Cloud Projections:

  • By 2021, big data will account for 20 percent (2.5 ZB annual, 209 EB monthly) of traffic within data centers
  • By 2021, video streaming will account for 10 percent of traffic within data centers
  • By 2021, video will account for 85 percent of traffic from data centers to end users
  • By 2021, search will account for 20 percent of traffic within data centers by 2021
  • By 2021, social networking will account for 22 percent of traffic within data centers
  • By 2021, 75 percent (402 million) of the total cloud workloads and compute instances will be SaaS workloads and compute instances, up from 71 percent (141 million) in 2016.
  • For the purposes of the study, cloud computing includes platforms that enable ubiquitous, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Cisco has released the seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) focused on data center virtualization and cloud computing, which have become fundamental elements in transforming how many business and consumer network services are delivered.