Big data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will be among the main drivers of cloud computing traffic in the coming years, which is set to rise nearly four-fold by the end of the decade.
This is according to Cisco's latest Global Cloud Index, which forecast that the total amount of traffic using the cloud is set to grow from 3.9 zettabytes in 2015 to 14.1 zettabytes in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, cloud technology is expected to account for 92 per cent of total data centre traffic.
Cisco attributed this rise to an increase in migration to cloud architecture due to its ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centres. This is something that will be particularly important for businesses looking to increase their big data analytics capabilities.
The report noted that analytics and IoT deployments will see the largest growth within the business workloads sector, with these technologies expected to account for 22 per cent of workloads.
Globally, the amount of data stored is expected to quintuple by 2020, from 171 exabytes in 2016 to 915 exabytes. Of these, information for use in big data applications will make up 27 per cent of overall storage, up from 15 per cent in 2015.
By 2020, the amount of information created (although not necessarily stored) by IoT solutions will reach 600 zettabytes per year. This will be 275 times higher than projected traffic going from data centres to end users/devices and 39 times higher than total projected data centre traffic.
However, the potential for even greater growth remains high, as large amounts of data generated that could be valuable to analytics operations will not be held within data centres. Cisco predicted that by 2020, the amount of data stored on devices will be five times higher than that in data centres.
This could mean IT departments need to rethink how they collate and process data when developing an analytics solution, as the tools they build may well be required to gather data from multiple sources in order to deliver effective results.
Doug Webster, vice-president of service provider marketing at Cisco, commented: "In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers of all types around the globe."
He added: "We forecast this significant cloud migration and the increased amount of network traffic generated as a result to continue at a rapid rate, as operators streamline infrastructures to help them more profitably deliver IP-based services to businesses and consumers alike."