Global cloud traffic is expected to rise 3.7-fold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020, according to the recently released sixth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2015-2020). In Middle East and Africa, data centre traffic will reach 451 exabytes per year by 2020, up from 105 exabytes per year in 2015. This rapid growth of cloud traffic is being attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and efficiently support more workloads than traditional data centres.
To better understand data centre growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report. Business workloads will grow by 2.4 fold from 2015 to 2020 but their overall share of data centre workloads will decrease from 79 to 72 per cent. During the same time, consumer workloads will grow faster by 3.5 fold.
By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 per cent (134.3 million) of total data centre workloads, compared to 21 per cent (38.6 million) in 2015. And video streaming workloads will account for 34 per cent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 per cent in 2015. Social networking workloads will account for 24 per cent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 per cent in 2015.
The report adds that IoT/analytics/database workloads are growing the most in terms of share of business workloads with collaboration and compute workloads largely maintaining their share.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen a variety of businesses and organizations develop plans for cloud migration or adoption. The move to the cloud is imminent as cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution,” said Mike Weston, VP, Middle East, Cisco. “With multiple trends influencing the growth of data center and cloud computing such as increasing digitisation, the widespread adoption of multiple devices and connections and the growth of mobility, the importance of cloud readiness cannot be overemphasised.”
“Although our region has made significant strides to reach a capable level of supporting basic and intermediate cloud services, the focus now turns to continuing to improve network capabilities to support the advanced cloud applications that organisations and end users expect and rely upon,” he added.
Hyperscale data centres are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale data centre traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 per cent of total data centre installed servers and support 53 per cent of all data centre traffic by 2020.
Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) are helping to flatten data centre architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 per cent of global hyperscale data centres are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 per cent of traffic within data centres will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.