According to Cisco’s latest Cloud Index Report 2016–2021, global cloud traffic will represent 95 percent of total data traffic by 2021, which is a significant rise from 88 percent by the end of the last year.
The seventh annual Cisco Global Cloud Index, which covers 2016-2021 timeframe, focuses on data center virtualization and cloud computing, two of the biggest trends in the last few years.
According to Cisco, by 2021, 94 percent of all workloads will be run by cloud data centers, which leaves only 6 percent for traditional data centers. The overall data center and compute instances workloads will more than double by 2021.
The same report focuses on three technology trends that are transforming the data center: leaf-spine architectures (which flatten the tiered architecture of the data center), software-defined networks (SDNs, which separate the control and forwarding of data center traffic), and network function virtualization (NFV, which virtualizes a variety of network elements). According to the report, by 2021, over two-thirds of data centers will adopt SDN, either fully or in a partial deployment.
According to Cisco, the global cloud data center traffic will reach 19.5 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021, which is a massive increase from 6 TB per year, reported in 2016. The data stored in data centers will quintuple by 2021, reaching 1.3 ZB and the amount of data stored on devices will be 4.5 times higher than data stored in data centers, reaching 5.9 ZB in the same time period.
The total amount of data created will be mainly driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), which will grow significantly thanks to improved security, reaching 13.7 billion IoT connections.
The report also predicts a significant growth of hyperscale data centers, forecasting that there will be 628 hyperscale data centers globally supporting:
- 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)
The report suggests that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will be the most popular service by 2021, covering over 75 percent of the total cloud workloads and compute instances, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) predicted to drop to 16 percent and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) hitting 9 percent by 2021.