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We often talk about the End-User approach to the Cloud. We touch base with insiders from all over the country about their observations working with specific subsets of clients. We recently connected with Jeff Uphues, Chief Executive Officer, dcBLOX Inc about data center growth, and he provided some invaluable statistical information, as well as experiential perspective.

He says when you evaluate data center traffic today, one thing is coming out very, very clear: the Network matters. “You can see that in the statistics,” he says. “Global data center traffic today is growing roughly at about a 24% compounded annual growth rate. So the amount of zetabytes of traffic running through data centers in 2017, which is 8 zetabytes, will be roughly 16 zetabytes by 2020. So look at that 4 year growth period. It’s a 24% compounded annual growth rate, year over year over year.”

Next, Uphues says it’s important to look at where that data center growth is going. “77% of the IP traffic stays within the existing data center. That means cabinet to cabinet, cluster to cluster, rack to rack, cage to cage,” he explains. “That’s predominantly how the data is interacting. 14% of it is going to end users, and 9% is going to other data centers. When you start thinking about the types of ways people are interacting with their data, and how that is growing, that segment alone is growing at another 23% annual compounded growth.”

Capre Premier Data Center Real Estate & Technology Infrastructure Conferences Discuss Data Center Growth.

For clarity, Uphues suggests honing into one area. “Let’s just take the primary storage,” he begins. “If you walk into a number of companies, you’ll find that they may have 30 terrabytes of data, which doesn’t sound like a lot, sitting on their primary site. That’s their primary storage – it’s sitting in some storage, some device, some form of attached storage.

But the way that they interact with it? Well your secondary storage, when you think of compliance, legal, audit, and what do they have for RPO and RTO around business practices? What do they have with their development shop, and how are they checking out or looking at data and taking it out and copying it?” Uphues says that’s a whole other story.

Issues with Data Center Growth on the Network

“The main issue we are seeing — and this relates directly into the Cloud — is that when companies start evaluating the Cloud, they think that they’ve got 30 TB of data,” he continues. “What about when they really start interacting? When people say, ‘Let’s put it into the Cloud, and let’s give everyone access,’? Well we had one client that went from 40 TB to 300 TB in their Amazon Cloud.”

Why is that? “Because multiple people get access to it, and they have multiple reasons why they keep copying and copying and copying the data,” answers Uphues. “So an enterprise may look at it and say that they really like what they can do with the data. They’ve got to be very, very careful, or they may end up with a lot of larger bills. It may increase productivity greatly, but the way people are interacting with their data is really starting to grow. We are seeing more and more things from our view, around an active-type synchronization, which is where the network matters.”