Cisco: Global cloud traffic to quadruple to 8.6ZB by 2019

Staff writer
04 Nov 2015

Global cloud traffic is set to more than quadruple by the end of 2019, outpacing the growth of total global data center traffic, according to Cisco’s newly released annual Cloud Index.

The Cisco Cloud Index projects that annual global cloud traffic is expected to hit 8.6 zettabytes (ZB) by the end of 2019, up from 2.1 ZB in 2014. This will account for 83% of total data center traffic, which is expected to triple during the same time frame (3.4 to 10.4ZB).

By region, North America will have the highest cloud traffic volume (3.6ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.3 ZB) and Western Europe (1.5ZB). North America will also have the highest data center traffic volume (4.5ZB) by 2019; followed by Asia Pacific (2.7 ZB) and Western Europe (1.8ZB).

Cloud traffic, a subset of data center traffic, is generated by cloud services accessible through the internet from scalable, virtualized cloud data centers, whereas total data center traffic is comprised of all traffic traversing within and between data centers as well as to end users.

Several factors are driving cloud traffic’s accelerating growth and the transition to cloud services, including 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 virtualization in private clouds which is increasing the density of those workloads.

Consumer cloud storage

Cisco says that as of today, 73% of data stored on client devices resides on PCs. By 2019, 51% of stored data 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.

As an example, Cisco predicts that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored (179EB per year) on those devices – necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities via the cloud.

By 2019, 55% (more than 2 billion users) of the residential internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42% in 2014).

This will drive global consumer cloud storage traffic per user to 1.6 gigabytes per month by 2019, from 992 megabytes per month in 2014.

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