Cisco: Global cloud traffic will swell twelvefold by 2015

Study foresees worldwide IP traffic quadrupling, but also says most networks aren't ready to handle advanced cloud apps

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What's more, Cisco's Global Cloud Index predicts that 51 percent of all workloads will be processed in the cloud, rather than in traditional data centers, by 2014. By 2015, cloud-processed workloads will reach 57 percent.

Virtualization will continue to play a critical role in enabling the increase in annual IP traffic: The number of workloads per installed traditional server will increase from 1.4 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2015, according to Cisco, while the number of workloads per cloud server will increase from 3.5 to 7.8 over the same time period.

One of the big questions in all this: Will broadband and mobile networks be able to keep pace with the growth of IP traffic and the increasing demand for advanced cloud applications? Cisco has a significant interest in this question, given that it wants to sell the fatter data pipelines to keep that traffic flowing.

In its report, Cisco examines the cloud-readiness of networks worldwide for three types of cloud apps. The first is basic, which includes email and IM, Web browsing, Web conferencing, and basic media streaming. This category's network requirements are download speeds of up to 750kbps and upload speeds of up to 250kbps. Latency of 140 ms of higher is acceptable.

The second category is intermediate cloud apps, which including high-end file sharing, IP telephony, ERP, CRM, basic gaming and video chat, IP audioconferencing, and high-def video streaming. Network requirements are download speeds between 750kbps and 2,500kbps, upload speeds of 250kbps to 750kbps, and a latency range from 140 to 50 ms.

The final category is advanced cloud apps, which includes high-end gaming, video chat, and file sharing, along with high-definition audio- and videoconferencing, as well as streaming of super-high-def video. These apps, per Cisco, require download speeds above 2,500kbps, upload speeds above 750kbps, and latency under 50 ms.

Cisco determined that North America; Asia Pacific; and Western, Central, and Eastern Europe are best prepared for the intermediate cloud apps, while the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America can support basic cloud services. However, few regions' average network characteristics are capable of supporting high-end advanced cloud apps, according to the report.

This story, "Cisco: Global cloud traffic will swell twelvefold by 2015," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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