Cloud data centre traffic is expected to represent 95 percent of total data centre traffic by 2021 compared to 88 percent in 2016, notes Cisco's Global Cloud Index for the period 2016 to 2021.
The domination of cloud-based data has been enabled by the meteoric growth of consumer and business applications such as streaming video, social networking, enterprise resource planning, analytics and digital enterprise applications.
Earlier today, Cisco released its Global Cloud Index for the period 2016 to 2021, estimating that global cloud data centre traffic will increase from a mere 6.0 zettabytes per year in 2016 to 19.5 zettabytes per year in 2021, thereby representing an annual growth rate of 27 percent. Thanks to such growth, global cloud data centre traffic will represent 95 percent of total data centre traffic by 2021.
In order to fulfill the rising need for data center and cloud resources, as many as 628 hyperscale data centres will be built globally by 2021, up from 338 in 2016. Such data centres will support 69 percent of all data centre processing power, 65 percent of all data stored in data centres and 55 percent of all data centre traffic.
The report also revealed that by 2021, cloud data centres will process 94 percent of workloads and compute instances even though such workload will more than double compared to 2016 levels. Big data will increase from 25 EB in 2016 to 403 EB in 2021 and will represent 30 percent of data stored in data centres. At the same time, data stored on devices will be 4.5 times higher than data stored in data centres by 2021.
What are the challenges?
Even though storing data on the cloud is cheap, more efficient and more secure for enterprises, some enterprises have been unable to adopt cloud solutions either because of lack of understanding of the concept or due to existing security concerns.
'Many older organisations are still struggling with legacy infrastructures and ensuring that they will be able to access their existing data through cloud platforms. Moreover at present, around a third of cloud consumption is driven by the business, rather than the IT department, through shadow IT projects. This risks not only undermining businesses’ digital strategies, but causing serious issues in industries where regulation limits the use of cloud,' says Conway Kosi, SVP & Head of Managed Infrastructure Services at Fujitsu EMEIA.
'Close collaboration between the C-suite and the IT team will enable businesses to design a balance that works for them in the long term. By unlocking the power in existing systems while facilitating innovation with new technologies, hybrid IT can enable even older companies draw on the power of what they have today – while moving quickly enough for tomorrow,' he adds.
According to the Cisco report, improvements in data centre governance and data control have helped to minimize enterprise risk and better protect consumer information.
'Security innovations coupled with tangible cloud computing benefits, including scalability and economies of scale, play key roles in fueling the cloud growth projected in the study. Additionally, the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) applications such as smart cars, smart cities, connected health and digital utilities requires scalable computing and storage solutions to accommodate new and expanding data centre demands,' the firm noted.
The growth of SaaS
The report also added that by 2021, SaaS workloads and compute instances will represent up to 75 percent of the total cloud workloads and compute instances, with IaaS workloads and compute instances representing 16 percent and PaaS workloads and compute instances representing the remaining 9 percent. However, this trend may not benefit everyone migrating to SaaS models in the coming years.
'As the world continues to move towards SaaS cloud service models, flexibility, economies of scale and speed have become primary concerns for businesses. Yet too many businesses rely solely on the protection provided by SaaS or cloud app providers, many of which are simply not geared up to mitigate on-premise risks such as business continuity and data loss,' says Dan Sloshberg, Director Product Marketing at Mimecast.
'Not all SaaS vendors are created equal and not all are able to provide the level of protection needed today – including the single layer of built-in security from Office 365 and Google. It is therefore essential that organisations carefully examine shortlisted SaaS vendors to insure they have layered security with advanced protection in place to defend against targeted threats,' he adds.