December 28, 2011

Cisco Global Cloud Index

The Cisco® Global Cloud Index is an ongoing effort to forecast the growth of global data center and cloud-based IP traffic. The forecast includes trends associated with data center virtualization and cloud computing. This document presents the details of the study and the methodology behind it.

This study addresses:
  • Global data center traffic
  • Data center virtualization and cloud computing transition
  • Global cloud traffic
  • Regional cloud readiness

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The internal market research team at Cisco has created another highly comprehensive forecast on future IP data traffic trends, this time as they pertain to traditional data centers and cloud data centers. (Be prepared to get your head around the notion of data volumes so ginormous that they are expressed in zettabytes!).

The paper contains lots of juicy stats and even examines tangential issues, such as upload and download network capacity and application readiness levels for a coming data center cloudburst. One nit: while the paper does compare expected business cloud traffic loads with consumer cloud traffic loads, it doesn't specify whether the business cloud traffic is private or public cloud - presumably, the stats and predictions are a combination of both. Very large organizations - like Cisco - are consolidating their data centers, virtualizing servers, and creating internal, private cloud services of their own; others turn to an outside provider for use of that third party's compute infrastructure, software applications and development platforms and storage.

Overall this is good information but I think Cisco needs to check some facts and figures particularly at the top of p9 and in Table 3. It says "Within the cloud data center traffic forecast, consumer traffic leads with a CAGR of 39 percent. At 14 percent of total cloud traffic in 2010, consumer traffic is forecast to become more than one-third of all cloud traffic in 2015." I believe it should read: "... At 14 percent of total *consumer* traffic in 2010, *cloud* traffic is forecast to become more than one-third of all *consumer* traffic in 2015." This makes more sense with the chart above that shows both cloud and traditional DC traffic. They make the same mistake with respect to business traffic later on in the paragraph. Also Table 3 refers to petabytes (PB) per year; this should be exabytes per year based on the chart above.

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