Cloud growth means network traffic will triple by 2017
A study published this week by Cisco says that network traffic is going to triple to reach 7.7 zettabytes annually by 2017 and and that the bulk of that traffic will remain within the datacentre. Some believe the news highlights the need for better datacentre designs to support the growth of cloud services.
Overall, datacentre traffic is expected to swell to 7.7 zettabytes annually by 2017. To put that in perspective, it’s equivalent to 107 trillion hours of music streaming—or 1.5 years of continuous music streaming for the world’s population.
The company said global cloud traffic will grow from 46 per cent of total datacentre traffic (1.2 zettabytes annually) in 2012 to 69 per cent of total datacentre traffic (5.3 zettabytes annually) by 2017. It added that 2014 will be the first year in which more workloads will be processed in the cloud rather than on traditional on-premise IT infrastructure.
But only 17 per cent of datacentre traffic is expected to be fuelled directly by end users accessing cloud services, media streaming or otherwise.
The company said that much of the growth in datacentre traffic will not be caused directly by end users, but by cloud-computing workloads shifting data between and within different virtualised environments. According to Cisco 76 per cent of network traffic will stay within the datacentre, and will be largely generated by storage, production and development data.
“People all over the world continue to demand the ability to access personal, business and entertainment content anywhere on any device, and each transaction in a virtualised, cloud environment can cause cascading effects on the network,” said Doug Merritt, senior vice president, product and solutions marketing, cisco. “Because of this continuing trend, we are seeing huge increases in the amount of cloud traffic within, between and beyond datacentres over the next four years.”
Some say the news points to the need to improve datacentre designs to combat the potential growth in datacentre failure rates, which could end up hampering cloud growth. “This shift is relentless and the dramatic move to cloud computing is turning on its head the traditional thinking on how data centres are designed and deployed,” said David Palmer-Stevens, SI manager at Panduit, a manufacturer of datacentre equipment.
“The news that datacentre traffic is set to grow threefold by 2017 is further evidence that our datacentres will be stretched to capacity as cloud services and traffic continues to soar,” he added.
Palmer-Stevens said that cloud service providers need to move beyond simply buying new servers and networking equipment to retrofit existing datacentres, but implement more fundamental design changes that challenge existing standards and improve failure rates.
“Looking at power, cooling and cabling design is just as important as the IT side in delivering what the customer wants,” he said.
“With this set to grow even further we must start implementing changes to create a more robust, efficient infrastructure to support this – otherwise we will see even more outages and failures,” he concluded.