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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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Policy Implications in the Rise of Mobile Broadband and Heterogenous Network Access

Over the last few months, a growing consensus has emerged pointing to a dramatic change in the way people access the Internet.

In 2011, for the first time ever, worldwide annual demand for smart phones surpassed that of PCs, laptops and tablets combined. Then last month our Mobile Visual Networking Index (VNI) Update reported that global mobile data traffic is growing even faster than previously forecasted and will increase 18-fold over the next five years.

So by this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, the ‘top of mind’ for network operators, government officials and device manufacturers was the dramatic accelerating impact that mobile data consumption will have on Internet access, networks and users.

When we launched the mobile VNI report on February 14, a panel of industry, academia and government experts glimpsed into the future of mobile broadband and related policy issues, with three key takeaways:

Read More »

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US Signal: 100G Optical Network Is Key to Transport and Cloud Services

The telecommunications industry has seen a huge amount of change over the past decade, and carrier US Signal is a perfect example.  Originally a wholesale and business carrier offering basic transport services from T1 to OC48, US Signal has recognized the need to move up the value chain if they are going to continue to provide maximum value to their customers. This transformation has been important as it seeks new markets and offers services, which are unique and provide greater profit potential than generic transport.

US Signal starts from a strong foundation. Today they operate one of the largest resilient fiber optic networks in the Midwest with over 1100 route miles in 23 metro markets and over 11,000 route miles of long-haul fiber. Recently they completed a successful evaluation of the first 100 Gigabit (100G) coherent dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) trial based on the the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) system.

Cisco ONS15454 MSTP M6

Read More »

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Just in time for the holidays: cloud data!

With the emergence of cloud computing, our customers have looked for real-world data that could help them understand the nature and scope of the cloud phenomenon. But that kind of data has not been readily available.

Not satisfied with this lack of information, a research team at Cisco reviewed 30Tb of data each month, more than 45 million speed tests, analyst forecasts, and inputs from our customers.  The result?

Today, Cisco released its first Cisco Global Cloud Index report — a forecast of IP data center and cloud-based traffic growth and trends worldwide, 2010-2015.

Similar to the Cisco Visual Networking Index in purpose and approach, the Global Cloud Index enables organizations to make strategic networking and management decisions and governments to make informed public policy decisions.

Some highlights from the report reveal: (all data global)

1.    Cloud traffic is growing twice as fast as data center traffic, increasing from 130 exabytes in 2010 to 1.6 zettabytes annually by 2015

  • 1.6 zettabytes is approximately equivalent to 22 trillion hours of streaming music
  • 76% of this traffic will remain within the data center itself
  • By 2015, 57% of all data workloads will be processed in the cloud Read More »

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Networking Forecast: Cloudy with Increasing Zettabytes

With the onset of cloud, we’re being asked more and more by our customers about the architectural requirements that result from it.  While the customers have an instinct as to what’s needed, there seems to be less actual data to that effect than what they would like.  When confronted with a similar situation over 5 years ago about the network, we developed the Cisco Visual Networking Index which focuses on the amount of traffic carried across the network to the end user to help gauge the extent of infrastructure needed to support the data deluge.  Now with the network becoming inextricably linked to the data center and cloud, we realized we need to look at the other half of the equation as well to get a truly comprehensive architectural view.  To achieve this, we reviewed 30Tb of data each month, more than 45 million speed tests, analyst forecasts, and inputs from our customers.  The result?  The inaugural Cisco Global Cloud Index, released today.

Here are a few takeaways to consider:

  • Global data center traffic is estimated to grow four-fold to reaching a total of 4.8 zettabytes annually by 2015.
  • The vast majority of the traffic – 76% — surprisingly, doesn’t even hit the network but instead stays within the data center itself, as workloads are constantly being migrated to different virtual servers.
  • Of the total data center traffic, about 11%, or 130 exabytes of annual data center traffic in 2010 is considered part of the cloud  – however that amount is going to grow significantly in the next half decade, reaching more than a third of data center traffic, or 1.6 zettabytes annually, by 2015.

Cloud may be the concept-of-the-day for the industry, but with growth like that, it shouldn’t be discounted as a passing fad but rather a lasting trend whose impact will fundamentally affect network architectures going forward. Read More »

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