Cloud usage is set to quadruple by the year 2019 due to the demands of IoT, business processes and mobile applications, according to Cisco's fifth annual Global Cloud Index, which the company released this week. The forecast also predicts a huge surge in cloud service usage.
Indeed, "enterprise and government organizations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere," said Doug Webster, Cisco's vice president of service provider marketing, in a press release for the Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019).
Organizations already realize the efficiency and cost reduction potential of moving to the cloud that results from uncoupling processing power with specific hardware. The Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) report also refer to the fact that a number of major organizations, both in business and government sectors, have already committed to move to the cloud, including 82.7% of healthcare organizations using cloud services, Netflix and NASA.
The data on data
Added to the current trend for adoption of cloud services is the push from the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), which Cisco prefers to call IoE for Internet of Everything. The company predicts that all those connected devices will generate 507.5 zettabytes of data per year by 2019. Just one smart city with a million inhabitants would generate 180 million gigabytes of data each day. That's really big data.
According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index, while today 73% of data is still mostly stored on PCs, by 2019 51%, or the major share of data storage, will shift to mobile devices, including phones, tablets and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules. As the amount of data inevitably escalates, the demand for cloud storage will rise. In fact, it won’t even take until 2019, as Cisco estimates that smartphone traffic will reach 201 exabytes a year by 2017, more than the 179 exabytes that can be stored on the phones, a major inducement to adding cloud storage.
Additional highlights from the report include the following predictions for global cloud usage by the end of 2019:
86% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers.
Annual global cloud IP traffic will reach 8.6 zettabytes (719 exabytes per month), more than quadrupling the 2.1 zettabytes per year (176 exabytes per month) for 2014.
Global cloud IP traffic will account for 83% of total data center traffic.
North America will have the highest cloud traffic volume (3.6 zettabytes), followed by Asia Pacific (2.3 zettabytes) and Western Europe (1.5 zettabytes).
An interesting observation is how the rise in cloud usage will result in a shift from private to public, a contrast to current use. By 2019, 56% of the cloud workloads are anticipated to be in public cloud data centers as compared to 30% in 2014. That puts it ahead of the 44% of the cloud workloads projected for private cloud data centers, a marked decline from the 70% private cloud data center usage in 2014.
However, this projection doesn't mean that there will be an actual drop in private cloud workloads. Cisco's Global Cloud Index projects that they will grow at 16% CAGR from 2014 to 2019. Instead, the level of growth is much smaller than the projection for public cloud workloads, which it projects to be 44%.
Both private and public clouds will be dominated by software-as-a-service (SaaS) which Cisco's Global Cloud Index anticipates will take over 59% of the total cloud, up from 45% in 2014. The second most popular service will be infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), though that will actually lose some share of total workloads, going down from 2014's 42% to 30% in 2019. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will experience a smaller drop, going from 13% to 11%.
What's behind these trends, you might wonder? Well, Cisco counts five central trends behind the anticipated direction for data center and cloud-based infrastructures:
Growth of global data center relevance and traffic
Continued global data center virtualization
Cloud service trends
Global digitization -- IoE and big data
Global cloud readiness
Separately these five trends will affect cloud demand significantly, and when combined, their impact on networks will be felt across industry and make the strongest business case yet for New IP technologies.
— Ariella Brown, Freelance Contributor, special to The New IP