75 Percent of IP Data Center Traffic Exchanged Within the Building

By Gary Kim November 06, 2014

By 2018, as much as 75 percent of all IP traffic will occur within data centers, and will not cross the WAN – which is about even with the 2013 estimate that 77 percent of total IP traffic would actually remain within a data center.

Although the amount of global traffic crossing the Internet and IP WAN networks is projected to reach 1.6 ZB per year, by 2018, the amount of annual global data center traffic in 2013 is already estimated to be 3.1 ZB, and by 2018, will triple to reach 8.6 ZB per year, according to Cisco.

Traffic between data centers is growing faster than either traffic to end-users or traffic within the data center, though, and by 2018, traffic between data centers will account for almost nine percent of total data center traffic, up from nearly seven percent at the end of 2013.

The high growth of this segment is due to the increasing prevalence of content distribution networks, the proliferation of cloud services and the need to shuttle data between clouds, and the growing volume of data that needs to be replicated across data centers.

Over the next five years, the study projects data center traffic to nearly triple, with cloud representing 76 percent of total data center traffic.

In 2013, cloud accounted for 54 percent of total data center traffic. By 2018, cloud will account for 76 percent of total data center traffic, Cisco says.

(Data center traffic includes data center-to-user traffic along with data center-to-data center traffic and traffic that remains within data centers.)

The study predicts that global data center traffic will nearly triple from 2013 to 2018 with a combined annual growth rate of 23 percent.

By 2018, 59 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) workloads, up from 41 percent in 2013.

Also by 2018, 28 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) workloads, down from 44 percent in 2013 and 13 percent of the total cloud workloads will be Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) workloads, down from 15 percent in 2013.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Editor

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