Cloud traffic worldwide is set to grow six-fold by 2016, led by the Asia-Pacific region which will generate the most cloud traffic and cloud workloads, and have the largest number of subscribers.
According to Cisco Systems' Global Cloud Index released Thursday, cloud traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44 percent from 683 exabytes per year in 2011, to 4.3 zettabytes by 2016.
By the same year, the Asia-Pacific region will also generate the the most cloud traffic at 1.5 zettabytes annually, compared to North America and Europe, both of which have been traditional leaders in the cloud space. Asia in 2016 will process the most cloud workloads at 40.6 million, accounting for 36 percent of global cloud workloads, followed by North America which will clock 17.4 million workloads, or 26 percent of the global number.
Based on Cisco's Cloud Readiness Regional Details highlighted in the index, which includes more than 90 million records from Cisco and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan are the region's most cloud-prepared countries based on overall consumer and business fixed networks.
Hong Kong boasts the fastest download and upload speeds at 27,710Kbps and 22,570Kbps respectively among all countries worldwide.
Asia-Pacific countries considered to be emerging, in terms of their cloud preparedness based on overall consumer and business fixed network characteristics, include China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Other trends influencing the growth of cloud computing include the widespread adoption of multiple devices, as well as increasing user expectations to access applications and content anytime and anywhere over any network, the report noted.
Doug Merritt, Cisco's senior vice president of corporate marketing, said in the report: "This year's forecast confirms that strong growth in datacenter usage and cloud traffic are global trends, driven by our growing desire to access personal and business content anywhere, on any device.
"When you couple this growth with projected increases in connected devices and objects, the next-generation Internet will be an essential component to enabling much greater datacenter virtualization and a new world of interconnected clouds," Merritt said.
Highest number of subscribers due to large population
In terms of broadband ubiquity, North America and Western Europe led in terms of the number of population with access to fixed and mobile broadband services, and will continue to lead through the forecase period of 2011 to 2016. However, Asia-Pacific led, and will continue to lead, in the number of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers throughout the forecast period due to the region's large population.
By 2016, Asia-Pacific, with a population of 4.06 billion, will have 1.1 billion fixed broadband subscriptions and 1.69 billion mobile broadband subscribers, accounting for 28 percent and 42 percent of total subscriptions, respectively.
Based on the regional average download and upload speeds and latencies for business and consumer traffic on mobile and fixed connections, all regions can support at least a basic level of cloud services, Cisco said.
"The focus now turns to continuing to improve network capabilities, to support the advanced cloud applications organizations and end-users expect and rely upon," the report noted.