7 Data Center and Cloud Computing Trends to Watch

Posted by Dustin Smith, Chief Technologist
November 18, 2016

Released earlier this month, the Cisco Global Cloud Index (PDF) forecasted some interesting cloud computing and data center trends for 2015 through 2020. Here are a few predictions to consider:

  • Cloud data center traffic is expected to grow by 262 percent exceeding 14 zettabytes
  • Public cloud growth is expected to increase by 35 percent per year, with private cloud growth coming in at 15 percent per year
  • By 2019, 55 percent of the consumer internet population (2 billion people) will use personal cloud storage
  • By 2020, 92 percent of all data center traffic will be cloud workloads

If this forecast is accurate, the demands on data center and cloud-based infrastructures from this growth will bring about some significant changes by 2020. Here are Cisco’s top seven data center and cloud networking trends:

  1. Impressive growth of global data center relevance and traffic. This will include hyper-scale data centers and an estimated 3X increase in data center IP traffic. The hyper-scale data center operators will almost double the number of data centers by 2020 to meet traffic demands and will account for nearly 47 percent of installed data center servers, 83 percent of the public cloud server installed base and 86 percent of public cloud workloads.
  2. Continued global data center virtualization. The migration of workloads from traditional data centers to cloud data centers is made more feasible due to the increase in virtualization within the cloud space. This allows for more efficient workloads, a key requirement to meeting the growing demand of cloud services.
  3. IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS workloads will all gain momentum between 2015 and 2020. Cisco predicts that IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) will grow approximately 17 percent per year, PaaS (Platform as a Service) at 24 percent per year, and SaaS (Software as a Service) at 30 percent per year through 2020.
  4. By 2020, traditional and private data centers will lose workloads to the public clouds across all applications except for database/analytics/IoT, collaboration, ERP, and other business compute applications.
  5. The overall data center storage capacity will grow 5X between 2015 and 2020. This means that by 2020, there will be 1.8 ZB by 2020 with 88 percent of it cloud based.
  6. The impact of IoE (Internet of Everything) on the data center will be felt. Cloud services and IoE will generate an estimated 600 ZB of data by 2020, up from 145 ZB in 2015. Much of this data won’t be stored—but it will be used, and it might best be served with Edge or Fog computing.
  7. An imperative need to deliver improved security while improving the customer experience. Storing data in the cloud has and will continue to be a big concern for companies. Those moving away from traditional data centers to the cloud will also need to focus on latency and network performance to deliver cloud benefits.

These forecasts and predictions from Cisco point to a need for continued improvement in network capabilities to support the advanced cloud applications and the consumers and organizational expectations of them. For details on these trends, be sure to download the Cisco Global Cloud Index Forecast for 2015-2020

About Dustin Smith Throughout his twenty-year career, Dustin Smith has specialized in designing enterprise architectural solutions. As the Chief Technologist, Dustin is responsible for the strategic direction of aligning the company’s growing consulting services with the client challenges he finds in the field, and he works closely with his regional architects to design new programs to address these issues.

Filed Under: Cloud Computing

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