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Industry News: New Cisco Cloud Index Forecasts Data Center Traffic to Quadruple by 2016

October 31, 2012

When the experts at Cisco began tabulating data center and cloud traffic in 2011 with the Global Cloud Index, the numbers were already impressive – if not a little mindboggling for those of us who tend to stop counting after billions or trillions. That’s because data center traffic in 2011 calculated out to 1.8 zettabytes of information. And what’s a zettabyte you ask? Easy! It’s equal to one sextillion bytes! Okay, okay, instead of more names that end in ‘ion,’ just think of it like this – one sextillion includes 21 zeros, which looks something like this 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

CiscoAnd now that Cisco has tallied the numbers yet again, at our current pace for data center and cloud traffic growth, that 1.8 zettabyte figure in 2011 is set to quadruple to 6.6 zettabytes in 2016. Sparing you the actual math, that 6.6 zettabyte figure translates to some interesting factoids:

6.6 zettabytes are roughly equivalent to 92 trillion hours of streaming music, 16 trillion hours of web conferencing and 7 trillion hours of online HD video streaming.

Also of note, the 2011 figures revealed that North America, followed by Asia Pacific and Western Europe, generated the most cloud traffic. But by 2016, Asia Pacific is expected to outpace the rest of the world and generate the most cloud traffic, followed by North America and Western Europe. Good thing CPI maintains a dedicated sales force and offices in each of those regions!

Check out this video infographic from Cisco for a complete rundown of the numbers:


But where exactly does all this traffic come from? Here’s a hint – even though lots of us are tapping on tablets and smartphones these days, and piling up plenty of emails, high scores and text messages in the process, the majority of the heavy lifting is all done in the data center itself – you know, that place full of racks, cabinets, cable and power management – the stuff CPI’s been building for over 20 years!

And as the trends continue to skyrocket, and the industry faces the challenges of how to successfully manage the growth, factors like energy efficiency within the data center become that much more important. Thankfully, with a long history of solving efficiency problems due to cooling, power management and more, CPI is looking forward to helping data centers across the world better manage this influx of traffic and lower their budgets.

N-Series TeraFrame Cabinet for Cisco SwitchesThat includes our ability to work in unison with a number of the world’s leading technology providers and manufacturers, including Cisco, whom we’ve developed specialty cabinets for like the N-Series TeraFrame® Network Cabinet for Cisco Switches - pictured at left.

At this point, if you can’t the stand the heat (generated by all this new traffic, not to mention ASHRAE, the Green Grid and others raising the ambient air temperature envelope in the data center), then you know what they say – at least contain it! Jeff Cihocki, Global eContent Specialist

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