Lofty figures

Cisco: 69% of all workloads will be in the cloud by 2017

Lucy Carey

The latest Cisco Global Cloud Index claims a 4.5 fold increase in global cloud traffic between 2012 and 2017.

You don’t really need official data to confirm it. Cloud has
long passed from being wispy, gossamer thin marketing speak to a
solid revolution in how we store and interact with data, services,
and platforms. With this in mind, the Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) still makes some
interesting predictions.

The third annual GCI was first developed to
estimate global traffic growth and trends for data centre and
cloud-based Internet Protocol (IP). It’s 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

Part of the Index is a “workload transition”
forecast, which marks the workload transition from traditional data
centers to more virtualized cloud servers, as well as a segment on
“Cloud Readiness Regional Details”, which examines the fixed and
mobile network capabilities of every region (from nearly 150
countries) to support business and consumer cloud-computing
applications and services.

2014 is earmarked as the year for when the
tipping point will be reached and the bulk of workloads transition
to the cloud. Cisco estimates that 51 percent of all workloads next
year will occur in the cloud, and 49 percent will be carried out in
the ‘traditional’ computing space. By 2017, 63 percent of all work
is expected to be carried out in cloud environments.

In scarily huge figures, that’s a jump of 98
exabytes per month or 1.2  zettabytes annually in the cloud to
443 exabytes per month or 5.3 zettabytes  per annum. These
predictions have led Cisco to forecast a 4.5 fold increase in
global cloud traffic by 2017.

Global data center traffic will experience a
threefold increase from 2.6 zettabytes in 2012 to 7.7 zettabytes a
year by 2017 – to put that into context, that’s the equivalent of
107 trillion hours of streaming music – or roughly a year and a
half of continuous music streaming for the

global population in 2017

In line with other global development trends,
the Middle East and Africa will see the biggest growth in cloud
traffic in the next four years, but the status quo of

the bulk of cloud traffic being created
primarily the US, followed by Asia Pacific and Western
Europe, will remain the same. More regions than ever have advanced
cloud capability (defined by Cisco as a download speed of greater
than 2,500kbps and upload speed of higher than 1,000kbps

- or in layman’s terms, fast internet) and all
regions can now support an intermediate level of cloud

Interestingly, due to the perceived security
issues inherent with cloud,
Cisco claims that
businesses will be relatively slow to adopt cloud. In fact,

consumers are the ones driving this rise in cloud adoption,
with solutions such as Google Drive, SkyDrive and Dropbox helping
fuel uptake. By 2017,
predicts the report,

81% of all cloud traffic
will be from
consumers, underlining the importance of cloud strategy for any
forward thinking enterprise.

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