Software Infrastructure Global Viewpoint – November 2015

Cisco Says Cloud Traffic To Quadruple By 2019

Cloud usage is growing dramatically, driven by consumers, mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Cisco just released its latest research on cloud usage. The Cisco Cloud Index calls the rapid expansion of today’s of cloud solutions, a stampede to the cloud.

“We have never seen anything like this in terms of speed of customer adoption,” said Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd, when asked to describe how his Cisco corporate customers have enthusiastically embraced the cloud.

Hurd noted that one of them, General Electric, in the last 18 months has moved another 10% of its computing load into the cloud. He said that GE expects to run 70% of its applications in the cloud by 2020.

Last week, Amazon reported that its cloud business has surged 79% year-­over­-year. Microsoft announced that its cloud business has “more than doubled.”

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Netflix has shut down the last of its data centers, moving the last piece of its IT infrastructure to the public cloud.

So, how fast is the demand for cloud computing and storage growing?

More from the Cisco study

Cisco says most of the work of IT will soon be done in cloud data centers.

The company predicts that cloud traffic will grow at an annual rate of 33% over the next five years, quadrupling from 2.1 zettabytes (2.1 trillion gigabytes) in 2014 to 8.6 zettabytes by the end of 2019. Cisco says that by 2019 83% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers, leaving only 14% that will be processed by traditional data centers.

Cloud traffic is expected to account for 83% of total data center traffic by 2019. Cloud traffic is a subset of data center traffic and is generated by cloud services accessible through the Internet from scalable, virtualized cloud data centers.

Total data center traffic, which Cisco projects will reach 10.4 zettabytes by the end of 2019, is comprised of all traffic traversing within and between data centers as well as to end users. 10.4 trillion gigabytes is the equivalent of 144 trillion hours of streaming music or 6.8 trillion of HD movies viewed online. See the chart below for comparisons showing examples of just how large equivalent data transfers can be.


The 144 trillion hours of streaming music is equivalent to providing about 26 months of continuous music streaming to the world's entire population in 2019. What about video? 10.4 ZB is equivalent to the data required to daily stream 2.4 hours of HD video to the world's entire population as of 2019.

86% of all companies put their 'electronic eggs' in multiple cloud baskets. Research shows that the typical number of cloud services used by a company is four.

86% of all companies put their 'electronic eggs' in multiple cloud baskets. Research shows that the typical number of cloud services used by a company is four.

The public cloud will grow faster than the private

While overall cloud workloads will grow at a CAGR of 27% from 2014 to 2019, the public cloud workloads are going to grow even faster, at 44% CAGR over that period. Private cloud (where cloud services are delivered to corporate users by their IT department) workloads will grow at one-third that rate, at 16%.

By 2019, 56% of workloads will take place in the public cloud and in 44% will occur in private clouds.

The total volume of stored data on client devices and in data centers will more than double to reach 3.5 zettabytes by 2019. Most stored data resides in client devices today and will continue to do so over the next 5 years, but more data will move to the data center over time, representing 18% of all data in 2019, up from 12% in 2014.

The coming Internet of Things (IoT)

In addition to larger volumes of stored data, the stored data will come from a wider range of devices by 2019. Currently, 73% of data stored on client devices resides on PCs. By 2019, stored data on PCs will fall to 49%, with a greater portion of data will be contained on smartphones, tablets, and machine­-to-­machine (M2M) modules.

Stored data associated with M2M will grow at a faster rate than any other device category at an 89% CAGR. A broad range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications are starting to generate large volumes of data that could reach, Cisco estimates, 507.5 zettabytes annually by 2019. That’s 49 times greater than the projected data center traffic for 2019 (10.4 zettabytes).

Today, only a small portion of this content is stored in data centers, but that could change as big data analytics tools are applied to greater volumes of the data collected and transmitted by IoT applications.

Cisco estimates that by 2019, 55% (2 billion) of the Internet­-connected consumer population will use personal cloud storage, up from 42% (1.1 billion users) in 2014.

Juniper Research Global concurs saying that consumer cloud storage traffic will grow from 14 exabytes (14 billion gigabytes) annually in 2014 to 39 exabytes by 2019 at a 23% CAGR. This growth translates to per-­user traffic of 1.6 gigabytes per month by 2019, compared to 992 megabytes per month in 2014.

Consumer cloud usage. By 2019 more than 2 billion users will rely on the cloud for personal storage. The PC will no longer be the dominate storage platform. Smartphones, tablets and other devices will hold much of a consumer's data.

Consumer cloud usage. By 2019 more than 2 billion users will rely on the cloud for personal storage. The PC will no longer be the dominate storage platform. Smartphones, tablets and other devices will hold much of a consumer's data.

Follow the money

Research firm IDC estimates the public IT cloud market at $56.6 billion. The company expects that market to grow to a $127 billion market within four years.

While the public cloud computing market is still in the early stages of adoption, most predict rapid adoption in line with Cisco’s numbers. IDC predicts the cloud market will grow at a compound annual rate of 22.8% each year, which is six times faster than the growth in the overall IT market. By 2018, IDC expects that cloud spending will account for half of software, server and storage spending growth.

Given the results of their survey, it is not surprising that Cisco is high on cloud computing. "The Global Cloud Index highlights that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution globally, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30 percent in every worldwide region over the next five years," said Doug Webster, VP of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco. "Enterprise and government organizations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem."

Ever wonder how big “clouds” really are? We’ll answer that question in another article.

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