Data center traffic growth is poised for a six-fold increase over the next four years to reach 6.6 zettabytes. To know how this will impact data center infrastructure, though, means better understanding what types of data are growing fastest.

 

In the latest Cisco* Global Cloud Index report, we learn that almost two-thirds of that 6.6 zettabytes is cloud computing traffic.  But even more interesting is that 76% of data center traffic will stay within the data center.  This is the so-called “east-west” data traffic that is the result of data exchanges and requests between servers or between servers and storage.

 

Why so much east-west traffic? The Cisco report does not break down the details, but we can surmise that this comes from applications such as web transaction processing, recommender systems, cloud clustering services and big data analytics. 

 

The response time for these applications can be impacted by network latency, which means low-latency switches (like our Intel® Ethernet Switch FM6000 family) will play a key role in the data centers that will be built to support this data explosion.