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The growth in the flow of data across networks has been phenomenal. Cisco predicts that zettabyte threshold will be crossed in 2016 with 1.3 zettabytes of network traffic data flowing across the Internet. But the data flowing back and forth internally between servers within data centers has already exceeded a zettabyte, and by 2016 should quadruple to 6.6 zettabytes per year. Network traffic confined within and between data centers consists of data moving for reasons that include storage, authentication, virtualization, replication, database communications, and production and development data. Shruti Jain, a senior analyst in Cisco’s service provider unit, said that “We are firmly ensconced in the zettabyte era.”
Cisco is calling their methodology for estimating the amount of traffic flowing within and between all data centers the Global Cloud index.
The results of the Global Cloud Index research finds that increasingly the world’s data centers are becoming cloud data centers. In 2011, the ratio of cloud data centers to traditional data centers was 30 percent to 70 percent. But Cisco predicts that in just two years that the amount of data processed by cloud data centers will surpass traditional ones with 52 percent of all data processing workload being cloud related, and by 2016, 62 percent of data center workload will be cloud related.
Doug Merritt, senior vice president of corporate marketing at Cisco, said that “This year’s forecast confirms that strong growth in data center usage and cloud traffic are global trends, driven by our growing desire to access personal and business content anywhere, on any device. It is clear that the next-generation Internet will be an essential component to enabling much greater data center virtualization and a new world of interconnected clouds.”