SDN Blog

Trend lines clear: Data center traffic going up, up, up

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2015 in Broadband Internet , Data Center

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SDN Data Center

The soaring volume of electronic information moving through traditional corporate data centers and the mysterious-sounding network of off-site centers known as “the cloud” has gotten difficult to comprehend.

Global traffic is now measured in zettabytes. One zettabyte equals a sextillion bytes. Numerically, would be a 1 followed by 21 zeros.

Here’s a practical reference to the measurement: Cisco Systems projects that global data center traffic will nearly triple from 2013 to 2018 and reach a level of 8.6 zettabytes.

No matter how annual increases in global computing traffic are measured, the steady upswing is massive. Computer technology continues to change the way people live work and play.

Businesses and consumers rely on technology more than ever, which forces service providers to keep expanding without being noticed in negative ways.

Sioux Falls-based SDN Communications, for example, doesn’t want clients to waste time worrying about their ability to move, store or protect data, says Dennis Cromwell, vice president of sales at SDN. The company, which provides connectivity and related equipment and broadband management services to businesses and institutions, is up to the challenge. SDN simply encourages its clients to “enjoy the uptime,” Cromwell says.

Meanwhile, transmission capacities are steadily increasing.

“What we’re seeing is exponential growth in the amount of data traffic that is being transmitted,” Cromwell says. “We’re seeing customers ask for doubling and tripling the speed of connections.”

That’s partly because businesses that maintain a lot of data­ - industries such as financial services and health care – have to back up their records in case the information has to be replicated on short notice, Cromwell says. Small-capacity connections won’t allow the data to move as fast as it might be needed.

Video streaming is another significant factor increasing overall data traffic and bandwidth demands, Cromwell says. Companies might use video to train employees, for example.

Consumers’ use of video service is rising steadily, too. SDN does not serve the consumer market, but its 17 member companies do. Many of SDN’s member companies in South Dakota have projects underway to provide residential customers with fiber optic connections to SDN’s backbone.

Businesses generally have an even greater need for fiber connectivity and rapid transmission speeds.

“It means increasingly our customers are demanding fiber optic connections. You can’t generate that kind of capacity over a cable modem or cooper. It has to be carried over fiber,” Cromwell says.

Cloud services catch on

Cisco has experience and expertise in forecasting IP traffic. It is a reputable, California-based company that designs, makes and sells networking equipment, some of which SDN carries and provides to its clients.

Four years ago, Cisco projected massive but not particularly surprising increases in global computing traffic. The company estimated that global traffic generated by cloud computing services would increase 12-fold from 2010 to 2015. Cisco also estimated that data center traffic would increase four-fold during the time span.

The projections reflected the growing acceptance and use of cloud services as well as the continuing growth in the more established realm of traditional, on-site data centers.

More recently, Cisco projected that global IP traffic at all data centers would nearly triple between 2013 and 2018. At the end of the five-year period, more than three-fourths of data center workloads are expected to have been processed at cloud centers.

“Over the last few years, the telecommunications industry has seen cloud adoption evolve from an emerging technology to an established networking solution that is gaining widespread acceptance and deployment,” according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index. “Enterprise and government organizations are moving from test environments to placing more of their mission-critical workloads into the cloud. For consumers, cloud services offer ubiquitous access to content and services, on multiple devices, delivered to almost anywhere network users are located.”

The trend lines all point to continued growth in the traffic of electronic-information. That is enhancing experiences for end-users as well as putting greater demands on data center and cloud infrastructure.

SDN is among the business-to-business service providers in the middle of all this. The company is well-positioned to help other businesses from becoming overwhelmed by options and choices. For help in sorting through it all, check out the SDN Communications website or call 800-247-1442.