Cloud Traffic Drives 83% of Data Center Traffic in 2019

Some trends in communications--such as the relationship between computing and communications-- are drop-dead simple. Information technology and communications have been increasingly intertwined for decades, as computing architectures have grown more distributed.

Globally, of every dollar spent on enterprise information technology spending technology, 43 cents are expended for communications services.

That also is true of consumer computing. By 2019, 55 percent of the residential Internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42 percent in 2014), in addition to most apps also reliant on cloud computing, according to Cisco.

To state the obvious but important fact, cloud computing requires communications. As cloud computing grows, so does demand for communications.

Annual global data center IP traffic is projected to reach 10.4 ZB by the end of 2019, up from 3.4 ZB per year in 2014. But that is not the key figure. 

Cloud traffic is key, since cloud traffic necessarily requires outside the building communications. Data center traffic often moves within a building, server to server.

Annual global cloud traffic is projected to quadruple, reaching 8.6 ZB (719 EB per month) by the end of 2019, up from 2.1 ZB per year (176 EB per month) in 2014, and is expected to account for more than 83 percent of total data center traffic by 2019.

Overall data center workloads will more than double from 2014 to 2019. Cloud workloads will more than triple over the same period, Cisco predicts.

Cloud traffic, a subset of data center traffic, is generated by cloud services accessible through the Internet from scalable, virtualized cloud data centers.

Total data center traffic includes all traffic traversing within and between data centers as well as to end users.

Some suggestions of consumer services reliance can be gleaned from the prediction that software as a service (SaaS) will be the most popular and adopted service model for public and private cloud workloads, respectively, by 2019. Those workloads are the other side of a consumer’s use of mobile and Internet applications.
By 2019, 59 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 45 percent in 2014.


As an example, the Cisco forecast estimates that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201 EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored (179 EB per year) on those devices – necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities using the cloud.

Worldwide IT Spending Forecast by Sector (Billions of U.S. Dollars)
2014
2014
2015
2015

Spending
Growth (%)
Spending
Growth (%)
Devices
693
2.4
654
-5.7
Data Center Systems
142
1.8
136
-3.8
Enterprise Software
314
5.7
310
-1.2
IT Services
955
1.9
914
-4.3
Communications Services
1,607
0.2
1,492
-7.2
Overall IT
3,711
1.6
3,507
-5.5
Source: Gartner (June 2015)

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