New Cisco Global Cloud Index Projects Cloud Computing Traffic to Grow 12-Fold by 2015; Cloud to be 51 percent of Data Center Workloads by 2014
Cloud Computing Traffic to Grow Fast in Coming Years, Cisco Says
Cloud computing will account for nearly 34% of traffic at the world’s data centers by 2015, the huge computing stations that now process and distribute most of the Internet’s information. Last year the cloud accounted for only about 11% of data center traffic.
The trend comes as data centers become an ever larger part of the way the Internet works, acting as the digital jet engines for the Internet’s most-used services: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple’s iCloud and many others.
Cisco’s first “Cloud Index” report says that overall traffic at data centers will more than triple by 2015, to 4.8 zettabytes from about 1.5 zettabytes in 2011. Cisco is one of the world’s largest vendors of the networking hardware that sends data around the Internet and between servers in a given data center.
A zettabyte is an astronomical amount of data, equal to 1 billion terabytes. A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes. Many current PCs contain about 500 gigabytes of storage. So the amount of data that will be processed by the world’s data centers by 2015 is roughly what you could fit on 2 billion modern PCs.
None of that may be very surprising, as the benefits of cloud computing — including the substantially lower cost of storing and retrieving data to consumers and businesses — have been widely extolled in recent years. Cisco differentiates between “traditional” services and cloud servers; the latter is a more elastic type of computing that can grow or shrink depending on the number of active users or the types of tasks it is performing.
That can make for economic and energy efficiency gains by reducing the number of data center servers that sit idle while, for instance, people in North America are asleep. With cloud systems, those otherwise unused servers can be shifted over to perform needed functions — often for different companies on other continents.
The rapid movement of data that goes along with cloud computing has raised a number of concerns about online security, including whether consumers and businesses can know precisely where their private data is located and the extent to which cloud data is vulnerable to hackers or accidental disclosure.
Five Points You Need to Consider Whether Cloud Computing Is for You
If your business isn’t leveraging cloud technology as part of its daily operations yet, there’s a good chance that it will be within next few years. According to Cisco, the global Internet traffic generated by the use of cloud computing services will increase 12-fold by 2015.
If you’ve been too preoccupied with the business of growing your business to consider what cloud computing could offer, don’t fret. Here are five points to help you decide whether the time is ripe for your business to invest in the cloud.
1. Lower Cost of Ownership
Moving your business-critical data and applications to the cloud can be significantly more cost-effective than maintaining on-site server hardware. As your data is stored offsite, there’s no need to invest in the costly purchase, maintenance, or upgrade of onsite server hardware.
Additionally, as the data and software your company depends upon moves off-site, you may be able to scale back the number of IT employees or contractors needed to keep your on-site hardware running. All of this can add up to a sizable chunk of change that could be directed towards other areas of your business.
Speaking of IT personnel, when you turn your data-wrangling over to a company that specializes in providing cloud computing solutions to business, you’re not just investing in an off-site storage solution, but you’re also buying the peace of mind. Cloud solution providers like Amazon, IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft staff trained personnel ready to respond to emergencies, frustrations, and failures 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, ensuring that you and your employees will have access to business files and applications, and the assistance to use them effectively when needed.
What’s more, by default, cloud computing provides an instant off-site backup solution. Should disaster strike at your office, the continuity of your business will be ensured, thanks to the fact that your important client, supplier and financial information are all stored elsewhere.
Having a computing solution that can grow quickly to meet the demands of your employees and customers is a must. As your business grows, your cloud computing solution can quickly be scaled to meet the increasing demand data demands of your employees and customers. This can be especially important for companies who rely on Web-based sales as a significant part of their revenue streams: A lack of server capacity can quickly translate into lost sales.
With your company’s data streaming from the cloud, you and your workforce can be productive anywhere there’s Internet connectivity. Employees can work from their desks or from their cars. You can access, work on, and update mission-critical data, such as a PowerPoint presentation for an important client, from your office before sales personnel use it on the other side of the country.
Perhaps most importantly, on days where you just can’t bear the thought of heading into work, you’ll still be able to keep tabs on your business from a laptop or tablet from the comfort of your own home. (Just remember to change out of your pajamas before doing any video conferencing.)
Everyone knows that a new car depreciates as soon as you drive it off the lot. The same can be said for computing solutions: As soon as you invest in new hardware or software, something faster or more efficient will be announced. Thanks to cloud computing, this cruel reality becomes a frustration of the past. Cloud computing provisioning is a business, and just like any other money-making venture, competition is the name of the game. As new, faster technologies emerge, you can bet that your provider will jump at the opportunity to provide them to you, for fear of losing your business to another company. This means that the software you use, and the speed at which you’ll be able to access your data will typically be second to none.
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