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Middle East and Africa cloud data traffic surges


Global networking firm Cisco forecasts that the Middle East and Africa could have the highest cloud traffic growth rate in the world at a 79% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

This is according to the firm’s second annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2011 – 2016), which says Middle East and Africa cloud data centre traffic could represent 64% of total data centre traffic by 2016, compared to 37% in 2011.

Furthermore, Middle East and Africa traditional data centre traffic is forecast to represent just 36% of total data centre traffic by 2016, compared to 63% in 2011.

It is also expected to reach 91 Exabytes per year, or 7.5 Exabytes per month, in 2016. This figure would be up from 15 Exabytes per year, or 1.3 Exabytes per month, in 2011, representing a six-fold growth by 2016 at a CAGR of 43% from 2011 to 2016, says Cisco.

The study goes on to forecast that global data centre traffic could grow four-fold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016.

Global cloud traffic, the fastest growing component of data centre traffic, could grow by six-fold – at a 44% CAGR – from 683 exabytes of annual traffic in 2011 to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016, according to Cisco.

The research says the vast majority of the data centre traffic is not caused by end users but by data centres and cloud-computing workloads used in activities that are “virtually invisible to individuals”.

For the period 2011 – 2016, Cisco also forecasts that roughly 76% of data centre traffic could stay within these facilities. An additional 7% percent of data centre traffic could be generated between data centres primarily driven by data replication and software or system updates. Meanwhile, the remaining 17% is forecast to be generated by end users accessing clouds for web surfing, emailing and video streaming.


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