95% of data centre traffic will come from cloud by 2021

Volume of data will lead to more hyperscale cloud facilities, report predicts

The cloud will account for 95% of all data centre traffic by 2021, up from 88% in 2016, Cisco has predicted.

Key drivers of this surge in cloud usage will be data-intensive applications such as video streaming, ERP and analytics, according to the networking giant's Global Cloud Index 2016-2019, released yesterday.

The report also forecast that the total volume of data passing through data centres will increase considerably - from 6.8 zettabytes (ZB) in 2016, up to 20.6ZB by the end of 2021. This reflects a CAGR of 25% over the next three years.

To address this rapidly growing IT sector, Cisco predicts that 628 hyperscale data centres will exist by 2021, up from the 338 present when it counted in 2016. These super-powered data centres will account for 55% of total traffic by 2021.

"As with servers, hyperscale data centers represent a large portion of overall data, traffic, and processing power in data centres," the report read. "Traffic within hyperscale data centres will quadruple by 2021. Hyperscale data centres already account for 39% of total traffic within all data centres and will account for 55% by 2021."

Public cloud data centres will grow in popularity between now and 2021 as well. In 2016, 58% of cloud usage was in the public cloud and 42% of data resided in private data centres. In three years, 58% of data will travel via public cloud services, while private cloud data centre usage will decrease to make up 27% - a contrasting finding to research released last week that found that UK firms are more likely to spend money on private cloud over public.

"As the business sensitivity to costs associated with dedicated IT resources grows along with demand for agility, we can see a greater adoption of public cloud by the businesses, especially with strengthening of public cloud security," Cisco's report added. "Although many mission-critical workloads and compute instances might continue to be retained in the traditional data centres or private cloud, the public cloud adoption is increasing along with the gain in trust in public cloud."

SaaS will remain to be the most popular use of the cloud, although this will only increase by 4% to 75% in 2021, while businesses using the cloud for IaaS will decrease by 5%, to 16% come 2021.

"Companies are increasingly recognising the agility and flexibility that cloud computing offers; 47% of global businesses are planning to implement cloud solutions over the next 12 months," Conway Kosi, SVP, head of managed infrastructure services at Fujitsu EMEIA, said.

"However, there remain significant challenges in adopting the cloud. Many older organisations are still struggling with legacy infrastructures and ensuring that they will be able to access their existing data through cloud platforms."

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