Networking company Cisco Systems released its second annual Cisco Global Cloud Index in October of 2012. The Index examines the current state of cloud computing and extrapolatesfuture developments.
If Cisco's predictions are correct, we're teetering on the brink of a major networking shift from fixed IT networks to cloud data centers. Cisco suggests 2014 will see the turning point, at which time over 50 percent of all workloads will shift to the cloud. The Index defines a workload as the processing power required by a server to run an app and support users interacting with the app.
Global Cloud Cover
The growing importance of cloud data centers is readily apparent; whether you’re an individual or a company for SEO at least some of your data and apps now live in the cloud. Cisco's Index, however, indicates just how thick the cloud cover will be in 2016.
According to the Index, the Asian-Pacific region will generate more cloud traffic in 2016 than either North America or Western Europe, despite Western Europe's edge in network strength and broadband accessibility. By 2016, Asia-Pacific is expected to generate 36 percent of the global cloud workload.
Regions such as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are already positioned to profit from increased cloud workload, with China, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnamincreasingly likely to add to the cloud.
While the Asian-Pacific will dominate the cloud, it won’t be the fastest developing adopter of cloud technology. That title goes to the Middle East and Africa, which Cisco expects to show rapid cloud growth through 2016.
Presuming Cisco's predictions pan out, by 2016 the cloud will process an overwhelming amount of data, estimated at 6.6 zettabytes a year. A zettabyte equals one sextrillion bytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. Approximately 76 percent of this data will be internal data center traffic, according to Cisco estimates.
Mobile Lags Behind
While fixed networks across the globe are ready to handle intermediate and basic cloud apps, no region has yet to emerge capable of handling advanced apps. Cisco defines basic apps as small games and text-based apps.
Intermediate apps include programs such as iTunes, Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Planning apps. Advanced apps include high-definition video streaming and video conferencing.
Some are already prepared for advanced cloud apps, including Hong Kong, Japan, Romania, South Korea and Sweden. They are the onlyones currently capable of handling advanced cloud apps over a fixed network.
As for mobile cloud apps, no country is ready for advanced cloud app use. Western Europe comes closest, being capable of handling intermediate cloud apps over mobile access.
Cisco's Index confirms what many analysts already know: cloud data centers represent an important, and potentially lucrative, field of development. Eventually, we're all going to live under the cloud.
My dear friend Michelle is an aspiring writer and blogger with a passion for the Internet, specifically social media and blogging. She loves how social media connects people across the globe, and appreciates that blogging gives her the opportunity to voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.