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Cisco forecasts cloud data centre market to explode over next 4 years

By Ashton Young
Tue 6 Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Cisco has released its seventh annual Global Cloud Index (2016-2021) that shows booming growth for the entire industry.

The report focuses on data center virtualisation and cloud computing with statistics clearly showing how they have become fundamental aspects in transforming how business and consumer network services are delivered.

Data Center traffic is snowballing rapidly, driven by surging cloud applications. According to Cisco, global cloud data center traffic will reach 19.5 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021, up from just 6 ZB in 2016 (representing a compound annual growth rate of 27 percent).

And because of this, global cloud data center traffic will strengthen its hold of total data center traffic and represent 95 percent by 2021, compared to 88 percent in 2016.

Large scale public cloud data centers (aka hyperscale) are set to undergo colossal growth in the next four years, with Cisco predicting there to be 628 hyperscale data centers around the world by 2021 – almost double 2016’s figure of 338.

Cisco asserts by 2021 hyperscale data centers will support:

  • 53 percent of all data center servers (27 percent in 2016)
  • 69 percent of all data center processing power (41 percent in 2016)
  • 65 percent of all data stored in data centers (51 percent in 2016)
  • 55 percent of all data center traffic (39 percent in 2016)

“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,” says Cisco’s cloud platform and solutions group vice president Kip Compton.

Other major drivers of cloud’s rapid rise include improved security and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Security concerns have been a major barrier to cloud adoption in the past, but advancements in data center governance and data control have helped minimise enterprise risk and better protect consumer information.

Meanwhile, 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 – Cisco expects IoT connections to reach 13.7 billion by 2021, up from 5.8 billion in 2016.

Some further highlights of the report include: Data Center virtualisation and cloud computing growth 

  • 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. 

  • Overall data center workloads and compute instances will more than double (2.3-fold) from 2016 to 2021; however, cloud workloads and compute instances will nearly triple (2.7-fold) over the same period.
  • The workload and compute instance density for cloud data centers was 8.8 in 2016 and will grow to 13.2 by 2021. Comparatively, for traditional data centers, workload and compute instance density was 2.4 in 2016 and will grow to 3.8 by 2021.
Growth in stored data fueled by big data and IoT
  • 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.
  • Big data will reach 403 exabytes (EB) by 2021, up almost 8-fold from 25 EB in 2016. Big data will represent 30 percent of data stored in data centers by 2021, up from 18 percent in 2016.
  • The amount of data stored on devices will be 4.5 times higher than data stored in data centers, at 5.9 ZB by 2021.
  • Driven largely by IoT, the total amount of data created (and not necessarily stored) by any device will reach 847 ZB per year by 2021, up from 218 ZB per year in 2016. Data created is two orders of magnitude higher than data stored. 

Applications contribute to rise of global data center traffic
  • By 2021, big data will account for 20 percent (2.5 ZB annual, 209 EB monthly) of traffic within data centers, compared to 12 percent (593 EB annual, 49 EB monthly) in 2016.
  • By 2021, video streaming will account for 10 percent of traffic within data centers, compared to 9 percent in 2016.
  • By 2021, video will account for 85 percent of traffic from data centers to end users, compared to 78 percent in 2016.
  • By 2021, search will account for 20 percent of traffic within data centers by 2021, compared to 28 percent in 2016.
  • By 2021, social networking will account for 22 percent of traffic within data centers, compared to 20 percent in 2016.
SaaS most popular cloud service model through 2021
  • 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. (23% CAGR from 2016 to 2021).
  • By 2021, 16 percent (85 million) of the total cloud workloads and compute instances will be IaaS workloads and compute instances, down from 21 percent (42 million) in 2016. (15% CAGR from 2016 to 2021).
  • By 2021, 9 percent (46 million) of the total cloud workloads and compute instances will be PaaS workloads and compute instances, up from 8% (16 million) in 2016. (23% CAGR from 2016 to 2021).
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