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Cisco Global Cloud Index Projects Cloud Traffic in Middle East and Africa to Represent 86% of Total Data Center Traffic by 2020

Updated Report Analyzes Application Workloads; Highlights the Number of Global Hyperscale Data Centers; and Compares Data Center Storage Capacity versus Actual Data Stored

November 10, 2016 – In today’s unveiling of the sixth annual Cisco® Global Cloud Index (2015-2020), global cloud traffic is expected to rise 3.7-fold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020. This rapid growth of cloud traffic is attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centers.

With greater virtualization, cloud operators are also able to achieve greater operational efficiencies while flexibly delivering a growing variety of services to businesses and consumers with optimal performance. To better understand data center growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report. The following business and consumer projections were revealed:

Business:

  • By 2020, business workloads will account for 72 percent (344.5 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 79 percent (142.3 million) in 2015 (2.4-fold growth).
  • By 2020, compute workloads will account for 29 percent of total business workloads, compared to 28 percent in 2015.
  • By 2020, collaboration workloads will account for 24 percent of total business workloads, compared to 25 percent in 2015.
  • By 2020, database/analytics/Internet of Things (IoT) workloads will account for 22 percent of total business workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

Consumer:

  • By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 percent (134.3 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 21 percent (38.6 million) in 2015 (3.5-fold growth).
  • By 2020, video streaming workloads will account for 34 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 percent in 2015.
  • By 2020, social networking workloads will account for 24 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.

By 2020, search workloads will account for 15 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 17 percent in 2015

“The IT industry has taken cloud computing from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution. With large global cloud deployments, operators are optimizing their data center strategies to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers,” said Andy MacDonald, Vice President Global Service Providers; Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco. “In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers.

For the first time, Cisco also quantified and analyzed the impact of hyperscale data centers. These data centers are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale data center traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 percent of total data center installed servers and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.
A key infrastructure trend is transforming hyperscale (and other) data centers. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are helping to flatten data center architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of global hyperscale data centers are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 percent of traffic within data centers will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.

Middle East and Africa Global Cloud Index Forecasted Highlights and Projections:

1. Data Center Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will reach 328 Exabytes per year (27 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 82 Exabytes per year (6.8 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 32% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic grew 40% in 2014, up from 59 Exabytes per year (4.9 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 59.9% of data center traffic will remain within the data center by 2019, compared to 74.0% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 33.0% of data center traffic will travel to end users by 2019, compared to 18.9% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, 7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer data center traffic will represent 65% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 32% in 2014.

2. Cloud Traffic Highlights

  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will reach 280 Exabytes per year (23 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 50 Exabytes per year (4.2 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will grow 5.6-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 41% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic grew 61% in 2014, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014.

3. Traditional Traffic Highlights 

  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will represent 14% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 39% in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will reach 47 Exabytes per year (4.0 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will grow 1.5-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2019.
  • In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic grew 16% in 2014, up from 27 Exabytes per year (2.3 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
  • In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 89% of traditional data center traffic by 2019, compared to 35% in 2014.

Index Overview:

The Cisco® Global Cloud Index (2015-2020) was developed to estimate global data center and cloud-based traffic growth and trends. The report serves as a complementary resource to existing Internet Protocol (IP) network traffic studies such as the Cisco Visual Networking Index™, providing new insights and visibility into emerging trends affecting data centers and cloud architectures. The forecast becomes increasingly important as the network and data center become more intrinsically linked in offering cloud services.

Embedded Infographic:
View our infographic: Growth in the Cloud.

Supporting Resources:

Editor’s Note:
Cisco welcomes analysts, bloggers, media, regulators, service providers and other interested parties to use Cisco’s research with proper attribution: “Source: Cisco Global Cloud Index.”

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Synergy (a syndicated research source for the Cisco GCI Forecast) has identified 24 hyperscale operators. To be a hyperscale cloud operator, a company must meet the following infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS) or other cloud service revenues requirements:
  • >$1B in IaaS/PaaS 
  • >$2B in SaaS
  • >$4B in Internet/ Search/Social Networking  
  • >$8B in e-commerce/ payment processing

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