Global cloud traffic will more than quadruple to 8.6 zettabytes by the end of 2019, according to a new forecast, opening up a “tremendous opportunity” for service providers.

North America will have the highest cloud traffic volume (3.6ZB), followed by Asia Pacific (2.3ZB) and Western Europe (1.5ZB), Cisco’s latest Global Cloud Index has predicted.

The growth in traffic will be driven by three principal factors: the personal cloud demands of an increasing number of mobile devices, the rapid growth in popularity of public cloud services for business and the increased degree of virtualisation in private clouds, which is increasing the density of those workloads.

The majority of stored data (51 percent) will move to non-PC devices, such as smartphones and tablets, during the period, the report said.

This will lead to 55 percent of the residential internet population using personal cloud storage in 2019, up from 42 percent in 2014.

As a result, the growth of public cloud workloads will outpace that of private cloud workloads.

By 2019, 56 percent of cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centres, up from 30 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, SaaS will be the most popular and adopted service model for public and private cloud workloads.

“The Global Cloud Index highlights the fact that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution globally, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30 percent in every worldwide region over the next five years,” said Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco.

“Enterprise and government organisations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads.

“At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere.

“This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.”

Looking further ahead, Cisco said growth of M2M/IoT connections had potential to drive more cloud traffic in the future.

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