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.