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Cisco index projects cloud traffic to quadruple by 2019

October 28, 2015  

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The fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019), released today, forecasts that global cloud traffic will more than quadruple by the end of 2019, from 2.1 to 8.6 zettabytes (ZB), outpacing the growth of total global data centre traffic, which is forecast to triple during the same time frame (from 3.4 to 10.4 ZB).

Several factors are driving cloud traffic’s accelerating growth and the transition to cloud services, including the personal cloud demands of an increasing number of mobile devices; the rapid growth in popularity of public cloud services for business, and the increased degree of virtualization in private clouds which is increasing the density of those workloads.

The growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections also has the potential to drive more cloud traffic in the future.

“The Global Cloud Index highlights the fact that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution globally, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30% in every worldwide region over the next five years,” said Doug Webster, vice president of service provider marketing at Cisco.


“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. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.”

Today, 73% of data stored on client devices resides on PCs. By 2019, the majority of stored data (51%) will move to non-PC devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, M2M modules, et al.).

With the volume of stored data increasing, Cisco predicts a greater demand and use for consumer cloud storage. By 2019, 55% of the residential Internet population will use personal cloud storage (up from 42% in 2014).

As an example, the forecast estimates that by 2017, global smartphone traffic (201 EB per year) will exceed the amount of data stored (179 EB per year) on those devices —  necessitating the need for greater storage capabilities via the cloud.

According to Cisco 10.4 ZB is equivalent to:

* 144 trillion hours of streaming music

* 26 trillion hours of business web conferencing with a webcam

* 6.8 trillion of high-definition (HD) movies viewed online

* 1.2 trillion hours of ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming.