Cloud expected to make up three-fourths of data center traffic by 2018

Cisco predicts by 2018, a quarter of the world's population will use personal cloud storage

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Over the next four years, data center traffic is expected to nearly triple, largely thanks to a booming cloud computing industry.

That’s according to Cisco’s fourth annual Global Cloud Index, which predicts that the cloud will account for 76% of total data center traffic by 2018. That’s up from the cloud's accounting for 54% of data center traffic last year.

The report, released on Tuesday, also showed that by 2018, half of the world's population will have residential Internet access, and 53% of those users will store content on personal cloud storage services.

Cisco's study was released the same day that Google renewed its push to pick up momentum in the public cloud market by dropping prices and adding and updating features.

Google, along with cloud rivals Amazon, IBM and Microsoft, are pushing their cloud efforts because the market is growing so fast.

In the spring Forrester Research reported that the public cloud market is set for “hypergrowth,” and is expected to reach $191 billion by 2020. That’s a big jump from the $58 billion market at the end of 2013.

While the public cloud is showing a 50% growth rate, the growth rates of both hybrid and private clouds come in at a strong 40% and 45%, according to Synergy Research Group.

Cisco’s report echoes similar growth predictions.

The study predicts that global data center traffic will nearly triple from 2013 to 2018, growing from 3.1 zettabytes per year in 2013 to 8.6 zettabytes per year. A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.

Cisco said 8.6 zettabytes of data center traffic is equivalent to streaming all of the approximately 500,000 movies and 3 million television shows ever made in ultra-high definition 250,000 times.

The company’s report is calculated by using data from server shipments to data centers, the installed base of workloads and the volume of bytes per workload per month. The company said it used data from market research firms Gartner, IDC, Synergy Research and Juniper Research.

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