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Updated Global Cloud Index: Revised Forecast Shows Clear Signs of Continued Data Center Virtualization

Today, Cisco released its first update to the Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI), covering the 2011 to 2016 forecast period. This annual report is our ongoing effort to predict the growth of global and regional data center and cloud-based IP traffic as well as analysis of the trends associated with data center virtualization and cloud computing. Here are just a few of the key projections in this year’s report:

Global data center traffic

  • Global data center IP traffic will increase nearly four-fold over the next 5 years (reaching 6.6 zettabytes by the end of 2016). Overall, data center IP traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Data center virtualization and cloud computing transition

  • By 2016, nearly two-thirds of all data center workloads will be processed in the cloud (as opposed to less virtualized traditional IT servers). In 2011, 30 percent of workloads were processed in the cloud, with 70 percent being handled in a traditional data center.

Global cloud traffic

  • Global cloud IP traffic will increase six-fold over the next 5 years (reaching 4.3 zettabytes by the end of 2016). Overall, cloud IP traffic will grow at a 44% CAGR from 2011 -- 2016.
  • Global cloud IP traffic will account for nearly two-thirds of total data center traffic by 2016.

And this year, we’ve added more forecast granularity—projecting cloud traffic (and other metrics) for all six global regions: Read More »

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Software Defined Networking for Service Providers: Data Center Fabric Analogies breakdown in the WAN

Lately I’ve been seeing some industry people trying to apply the principles of data center network fabric models to their Wide Area Networks (WANs), and implying that such can be extended through service provider WANs.  Data center fabrics and WANs are horses of very different colors with way too many differences for these perspectives to hold up.

Fundamentally they are different beasts with one more easily tamed than the other.   Data center networks generally have well known end points and well-ordered designs.

Multi-tenant Data Center Designs

Bandwidth within data centers is virtually unlimited relative to WAN bandwidth.  It is much more stable and constrained in its characteristics when it comes to things like latency, loss, jitter, capacity, restoration capabilities – all of which have significant influence on WAN services delivery.  The same data center network assumptions exist between each of the end points, which makes fabric modeling for data centers generally a good approximation and thus possible to use.

Some private WANs that interconnect data centers may align closely enough with a fabric model, making it a good enough approximation.  But this is a unique case and is essentially Read More »

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Tweetchat with Cisco: Cloud Strategy Readiness and Economics

May 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm PST

Interop, Citrix Synergy, SAPPHIRE, EMC World .. May is definitely the month of the conferences . What are the common buzzwords for all these shows ? Cloud, Virtualization, Networking.

No surprise :  Enterprises, service providers, small businesses, and governments are looking for cloud solutions to solve some of their biggest business and technology challenges.
A solution to these challenges requires an approach that fully integrates the three pillars of cloud: cloud applications and services, data centers, and networks.

Cisco enables a world of many clouds  by connecting people and organizations within a cloud, between clouds, and beyond the clouds to the end user.

If you attended or plan to attend these shows,  you had or will have the opportunity to listen to Cisco experts and Cisco partners.

But here is an additional opportunity

Pat Adamiak, Senior Director of Cloud Solutions Marketing at Cisco Systems, will be available tomorrow Friday , May 11 from 9 – 10 a.m. PT to discuss trends and opportunities around cloud strategy readiness and economics during an unique Tweetchat *

In this role, Pat has global responsibility for marketing Cisco’s overall cloud solution portfolio, with a particular focus on telecommunications, cable, and media service providers. Pat played a core leadership role in the development and launch of Cisco’s overall CloudVerse strategic framework and offerings and is a frequent spokesperson on cloud.

So join the conversation with @PatAdamiak  on Twitter using the #CiscoCloud hashtag,

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What does a 4 year old have in common with Cisco?

February 28, 2012 at 11:29 am PST

“Ow mommy, my leg huuuuuuuuuuurts,” complained my 4 year old.  After a quick examination and check-in with the doctor (read: I opened a book written by Dr. Sears and consider that a check- in with “the doctor”), I determined the problem was simply growing pains.

Growing pains don’t apply only to small children and adolescents. They apply to small companies and large enterprises alike. And like the growing pains you experienced when you were 4, 12, and 18 years old, they can cause physical (in the form of operational costs) and emotional (in the form of stress) pain for your business.

For my 4 year old the solution to growing pains is a kiss, hug, and maybe some chocolate ice cream. Most businesses (all businesses? There is always an exception) need more than a band-aid; businesses want a long-term solution to business challenges with measurable results. One of the most common “growing pains” for businesses is controlling operating expenditures.

Recent research shows that up to 75 percent of enterprise IT costs are operating expenditures (Gartner ITKMD, January 2011). Let’s explore how Cisco has significantly grown its infrastructure while reducing operating costs.

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Workload Automation, Job Scheduling, Applications and the Move to Cloud

In an earlier part of my career I learned the extreme importance of Workload Automation, aka Job Scheduling.  Workload automation is the oldest IT technology on the planet coming from the need to schedule jobs on an IBM Mainframe.   Job Scheduling has evolved from driving JCL (Job Control Language) to Workload Automation where the Scheduler stitches together batch and real time activities across mainframes, proprietary OS systems, x86 systems, applications (both packages and commercial off the shelf such as SAP or Oracle or Informatica) and now web service enabled applications whether they be onsite or in the cloud.  Walk into the operations center of any data driven company and you will see multiple screens where operations are monitoring the state of these jobs.  Why are they so critical?  Over 50% of all transactions that occur on this planet are batch in nature.  They are scheduled based upon specific times or based upon dependencies being met.  These workloads can be a complex  and interrelated set of activities.  Effectively these job streams are the business processes that drive modern enterprises.

Without these jobs companies don’t get information (and large amounts of it) in the right place at the right time.  Most companies today could not close out their financial quarters without enterprise schedulers to move data from their disparate systems into a consolidate place for either the general ledger to close out or for a critical Business Intelligence report to run to drive placement of the correct product into the specific physical location to serve the global economy.  Workload automation tools open and close stock exchanges and process all the transaction data from trades.  They also drive compliance checks.  This is important stuff for the global economy!  This was my realization in touring key operations centers and realizing that half of the big monitors were covering the movement of batch data in the enterprise.

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