Nov 29, 2011

Cloud Traffic in 2015: What is a Zettabyte?

Cisco, the worlds largest producer of internet switches and routers, estimates that that global cloud traffic will increase 12 fold by 2015!.   This is an amazing figure, especially when you consider that traditional data center traffic (yawn) is estimated to increase 4 fold in that time ... a staggering figure in and of itself!  In all, between cloud and traditional data center traffic, data traffic is estimated to reach 4.6 zettabytes by 2015!  Zettabytes!  How big of a portable flash drive will THAT be?

While we will all undoubtedly be using the "cloud" in the future, only 17% of the traffic is estimated to come from the use of emails, web browsing, Facebook and YouTube (seriously, who watches all of those useless YouTube videos?).  The majority of the remaining usage will be from company and research usage.  According to Venture Beat's Sean Ludwig:
"The most notable reason for shifting from local data centers to cloud data centers? Cold hard cash. As an enterprise company uses more servers operated by cloud companies, the cost per server greatly decreases. When a company reaches the 1,000-server mark, the cost differential between using local data centers and cloud data centers is nearly 50 percent."
"One ZETTA bytes!"
Regardless of how you size it up, as an entrepreneur and/or business manager, the cloud is going to be an indispensable part of our lives and our businesses in the very near future.  Plan accordingly or be stuck with the 2015 version of a "dial-up" connection.

NOTE: It does leave me with one question ... once we reach 99.99 zettabytes, what comes next??

The Cisco Cloud Growth Diagram, available through Cisco's white paper on "Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2010-2015".