Forecasting data center and cloud traffic growth

The Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) was developed to estimate worldwide data center and cloud-based traffic growth and trends. If the second annual Cisco GCI is any indication, the two are not mutually exclusive. Growth is the trend.

“Data center virtualization and cloud computing are evolving as essential elements of business, education, government, and home communications and networking,” says Thomas Barnett, Director of Service Provider Thought Leadership at Cisco. “The Cisco GCI findings reveal a tremendous need and demand for intelligent and scalable solutions.”

Cisco forecasts global data center traffic to grow fourfold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016. The company also predicts global cloud traffic, the fastest-growing component of data center traffic, to grow sixfold from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016.

To put that in perspective, 6.6 zettabytes is equivalent to:

  • 92 trillion hours of streaming music
  • 16 trillion hours of business Web conferencing
  • 7 trillion hours of online, high-definition video streaming

“Cisco conducts this study as an industry resource to provide IT professionals with new data to help them address increasingly complex data center operations and service delivery requirements,” explains Barnett. “Understanding macro-level data center and cloud traffic trends can help organizations make strategic networking and business decisions, and we have a variety of resources to help them.”

To access these resources—including Cisco GCI highlights, white papers, Q&A, and expert analysis—visit:

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