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24.08.2016

Is your data centre ready for 2020?

Over the next five years, global IP traffic will nearly triple, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. The index shows that by 2020, global IP traffic will hit 2.3 ZB per year, that’s equivalent to 504 billion DVDs per year, 42 billion DVDs per month, or 58 million DVDs per hour.

Over the last two decades, total Internet traffic has experienced dramatic growth. In 1992, global Internet networks carried approximately 100 GB of traffic per day. Later, in 2002, it amounted to 100 gigabytes per second (GBps), and today it’s reached over 20,000 GBps. Cicso predicts that by 2020, total Internet traffic will hit over 60,000 GBps.

But what’s driving such unprecedented growth?

Feeling the effects of the Internet of everything (IoE)

The IoE comprises people, processes, data, and things, all connecting to the Internet and each other, exchanging data to enhance our everyday lives. Machine-to-machine (M2M) connections, such as smart meters, video surveillance, healthcare monitoring, transportation, and package tracking, are all helping to fuel phenomenal data growth. By 2020, M2M connections will grow to 12.2 billion, up from 4.9 million in 2015; it means that for every person on the planet, there will be 1.6 M2M connections.

But while the number of connections will grow three-fold, global M2M IP traffic will increase six-fold over this same period, from 1 EB per month in 2015 6.3 EB per month by 2020. This is primarily due to the increasing popularity of video applications, in particular, the introduction of ultra-high-definition or 4K, video streaming, which requires greater bandwidth and lower latency. By 2020, global IP video traffic will account for 82% of all IP traffic. To watch all the content that crosses global IP networks every month would take you more than five million years.

Besides consuming more video content, line-of-business (LBS) applications, such as Salesforce automation and fleet management, as well as desktop video conferencing, are adding pressure to data centre infrastructures. As the technology that enables these applications becomes simpler and cheaper, they’re becoming more greatly ingrained in our organisations’ DNA; between 2014 and 2015, the use of desktop video conferencing increased 25%, while LBS applications increased 32%.

Figure 1.      Cisco VNI Forecasts 194 EB per Month of IP Traffic by 2020 – Source: Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2015–2020

3 considerations for your data centre

1) Dynamic bandwidth

As the amount of video content that your business consumes grows, you’ll need to consider your overall bandwidth. However, it’s not as simple as just adding more capacity. With more people subscribing to online content, it means they’re consuming far more video than they produce. This has led to upstream traffic declining for several years, which means you’ll need to consider your organisation’s dynamic traffic pattern when calculating your required bandwidth.

In addition, it’s important to account for increased video communications. As high-end video calling gains momentum, this will require symmetric bandwidth, which needs to be reliable and robust to ensure the quality of your communications.

And finally, you must think about Broadband speed, as it is a crucial enabler of IP traffic. Today, Broadband speeds are about 24.7 Mbps, by 2020 this is expected to nearly double to 47.7 Mbps. This increase in speed is essential in supporting cloud storage, which makes the download of large multimedia files as fast as a transfer from a hard drive. But don’t forget, as your speed increases, users stream and download greater volumes of content, therefore in-depth planning of your growing requirements is essential to future-proof your operations.

2) Mobility and BYOD

By 2020, smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic; in 2015, PCs accounted for 53% of total IP traffic, but over five years this will decline to 29%. This is due to an increasingly mobile workforce; globally, mobile data traffic will increase eightfold and account for two-thirds of total IP traffic by 2020. Much of this growth is due to increasing M2M connections, which will account for 46% of the total devices by 2020.

 

The growth of smartphones as a communications hub for social media, video consumption and tracking IoE applications is changing the way people work and how we interact with the world. By 2020, there will be 3.4 networked devices per person across the world. Of these, 74% will be owned by individuals, the remainder owned by businesses. It means that if you are to enable greater productivity across your workforce, you need to adopt a flexible BYOD strategy and have the IT infrastructure deployed in-house to support it.

Figure 2.      Global Devices and Connections Growth Figures (n) refer to 2015, 2020 device share. – Source: Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2015–2020

3) Security

Users expect their online experience to be always available, always secure and for their personal and business assets to always be safe. However, reports from industry giants in the security space demonstrate that unfortunately this isn’t always the case:

– There has been a 458% increase in the number of times hackers searched IoT connections for vulnerabilities.

– Malware attacks have nearly doubled to 8.19 billion, with the Android ecosystem being the prime target.

– Compromised WordPress sites have risen by 221%.

– 89% of all cyber-attacks involve financial or espionage motivations.

The most common security breaches were through web protocols, file transfer and tunnelling protocols, or email, experienced in 60% of cases. Last year, there were 780 data breaches experienced globally with 178 million records stolen, an average of 228,000 records per breach. Although, when compared to the rest of the world, it is encouraging to see that the average number of breaches was lowest here in the UK.

When a data breach occurs, it can cause incredible damage to your organisation. This is both financial, in the form of compensation to customers, potential fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office and damage to your systems, as well as reputational damage and the loss of your customer loyalty. Therefore, when planning for the future, ensuring you have robust, secure systems in place to protect your ever-growing volumes of data is essential.

Future-tech: where experience meets innovation

Ensuring your operations are supported by an up to date data centre infrastructure is key to running a successful, efficient and cost-effective business. We understand that legacy, or older facilities will be less efficient, cost more to operate and are less able to deal with increased capacity needs than new build data centres. In addition, as your corporate IT requirements change, a data centre system upgrade may be necessary to manage growth, meet efficiency targets or lower operational costs.

However, it doesn’t mean that you need to run out and procure a costly new facility in order to take advantage of more recent improvements in data centre infrastructure. There are many data centre systems upgrades that can have an enormous impact on the efficiency, operational cost, power density and capacity for much lower capital outlay.

We have been at the forefront of innovative data centre design, build and management for over 30 years. Our commitment to innovation means we continually push the boundaries of energy efficiency, scalability and optimisation in the data centre, and because we only work with data centres, our highly skilled, highly experienced in-house team have enviable expertise, which translates into highly efficient designs, low build times, reduced costs and future-proofed data centres.

Discover how we can provide you with the ability to expand your data centre in line with business needs while maintaining live IT services.

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