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Cisco Report: 35% CAGR for Cloud Data Center Traffic

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In the third annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2012 – 2017) issued today, Cisco forecasts that global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data center traffic, is expected to grow 4.5-fold – a 35 percent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) – from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012 to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017. Overall global data center traffic will grow threefold and reach a total of 7.7 zettabytes annually by 2017.

A zettabyte is one billion terabytes. For context, 7.7 zettabytes is equivalent to:

  • 107 trillion hours of streaming music –about 1.5 years of continuous music streaming for the world’s population in 2017.
  • 19 trillion hours of business web conferencing –about 14 hours of daily web conferencing for the world’s workforce in 2017.
  • 8 trillion hours of online high-definition (HD) video streaming –about 2.5 hours of daily streamed HD video for the world’s population in 2017.

    Interestingly the vast majority of the data center traffic is not caused directly by end users but is caused by data centers and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals. For the period 2012–2017, Cisco forecasts that roughly 76 percent of data center traffic will stay within the data center and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data in a virtualized environment. An additional 7 percent of data center traffic will be generated between data centers primarily driven by data replication and software/system updates. The remaining 17 percent of data center traffic will be fueled by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices, all of which contribute to the Internet of Everything.

    "People all over the world continue to demand the ability to access personal, business and entertainment content anywhere on any device, and each transaction in a virtualized, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network,” said Doug Merritt, Senior Vice President, Product and Solutions Marketing, Cisco. “Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic within, between and beyond data centers over the next four years."

    From a regional perspective, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that through 2017, the Middle East and Africa will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate (57 percent CAGR), followed by Asia Pacific (43 percent CAGR) and Central and Eastern Europe (36 percent CAGR).

    Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

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