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Local cloud traffic to quadruple in next 3 years

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The fifth annual Cisco Global Cloud Index (2014-2019) forecasts that Middle East and Africa cloud traffic will more than quadruple by the end of 2019.

From a regional perspective, the report found that MEA is expected to have the highest cloud traffic growth rate at 41 percent by 2019. Several factors are driving cloud traffic’s accelerating growth and the transition to cloud services, including the personal cloud demands of an increasing number of mobile devices; the rapid growth in popularity of public cloud services for business, and the increased degree of virtualisation in private clouds which is increasing the density of those workloads. The growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections also has the potential to drive more cloud traffic in the future.

“The Cisco Cloud Index highlights the fact that cloud is moving well beyond a regional trend to becoming a mainstream solution, with cloud traffic expected to grow more than 30 percent in every worldwide region over the next five years,” reveals Vernon Thaver, CTO of Cisco South Africa. “South African enterprise and government organisations are moving from test cloud environments to trusting clouds with their mission-critical workloads. At the same time, consumers continue to expect on-demand, anytime access to their content and services nearly everywhere. This creates a tremendous opportunity for cloud operators, which will play an increasingly relevant role in the communications industry ecosystem.”

In addition to the rapid growth of cloud traffic, Cisco predicts that the Internet of Everything (IoE)—the connection of people, processes, data and things—will have a significant impact on data center and cloud traffic growth. Today, only a small portion of this content is stored in data centers, but that could change as the application demand and uses of big data analytics evolves (i.e. analysing collected data to make tactical and strategic decisions).

New technologies such as SDN and NFV are also expected to streamline data center traffic flows, such that the traffic volumes reaching the highest tier (core) of the data center may fall below 10.4 ZB per year and lower data center tiers could carry over 40 ZB of traffic per year.  To help put things in perspective, 10.4 ZB is equivalent to:

·         144 trillion hours of streaming music: Equivalent to about 26 months of continuous music streaming for the world’s population* in 2019

·         26 trillion hours of business web conferencing with a webcam: Equivalent to about 21 hours of daily web conferencing for the world’s workforce in 2019

·         6.8 trillion of high-definition (HD) movies viewed online: Equivalent to about 2.4 hours of daily streamed HD movies for the world’s population in 2019

·         1.2 trillion hours of ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming: Equivalent to about 25 minutes of daily streamed UHD video for the world’s population in 2019

Here are some of the MEA (including SA) key highlights from the Cisco Cloud Index:

·         Data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold, up by 32% from 2014 to 2019

·         Cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014

·         Consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014

·         7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.

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Inside Netflix: Quest for content will sweep Africa

In the second of a series of behind-the-scenes reports from Netflix studios, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK discovers an appetite for new stories.

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It may have started out as a better way to rent movies, but now Netflix is revolutionising the entire American film and TV industries. That’s not news. The next big shift, however, is likely to be the transformation of content production worldwide, and Africa is squarely in the Netflix sights.

In an exclusive interview at the Netflix studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, last week, chief product officer Greg Peters said that South Africa and Nigeria were among the many key markets in which it expected to make significant investments in content.

Greg Peters at the Netflix studios in Hollywood last week. Pic: ADAM ROSE

“We’re looking to increasingly find storytellers from around the world, especially ones who haven’t been able to tell the story they want because traditional production partners are not willing to tell it, or they can’t find a big enough audience,” he said.

“Our job is to provide a platform, both a production platform, and then a distribution platform, because we are really good at finding audiences that are much much bigger than any storyteller has ever been able to find before. We’re going to invest in every part of the world, including Africa.”

Peters emphasised the need for fresh stories, as opposed to those that repeated traditionally popular formulae.

“We feel like it’s exciting that we don’t have a lot of restrictions. We want compelling stories, a strong vision, authentic story telling, that can come from a whole different range of formats. To open up storytelling in ways that was not opened before.”

Peters was speaking at the end of a two-day Netflix event called Labs Day, which exposed a small group of media from around the world to the inner workings of the business.

Peters revealed that, when he joined Netflix in 2008, he was just one of eight people working on streaming. At that stage, the company was making most of its money from distributing movies on DVD through the mail, with subscriptions and orders managed entirely on the Web.

Click here to read about how Netflix was founded, what it meant to competitors, and what Netflix means to traditional pay-TV.

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Apple unveils TV+ and News+ subscription service

Apple’s video streaming service is set to launch in over 100 countries in the second half of this year, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Late to the premium video streaming game, Apple has unveiled its video streaming platform called Apple TV+.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced yesterday that the service will feature Apple Original content, along with a redesigned Apple TV app that integrates major TV streaming platforms like Hulu and HBO directly into the Apple TV app.

In maintaining the company’s premium image, Cook claims the service will be the “destination for the highest-quality originals”. He backed the statement by handing over to multi-Oscar winning director Steven Speilberg who led the company’s “The Storyteller’s Behind” video. The video below shows off big Hollywood names, including J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Aniston, M. Night Shyamalan, Octavia Spencer, Reese Witherspoon, endorsing TV Plus.

Speilberg announced he would be bringing the 93-year-old Amazing Stories book series to TV on Apple’s streaming service. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Steve Carrell discussed their involvement in a predominantly women-hosted Morning Show that deals with “issues that are spoken about behind closed doors”. The stage was filled with major TV personalities, including Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Big Bird (Sesame Street), and even Oprah.

Apple still has some catching up to do, because Netflix has already spent billions on acquiring and creating new content in 2019 alone.

In a move to remain competitive, subscribers to the service will have access to Apple TV+ through the new Apple TV app on iOS, Mac, Roku, Fire TV, and smart TVs from Samsung and LG, among other.

But will this service be sustainable for Apple in an already saturated market? Mark Skilton, professor of practice at Warwick Business School, said: “Apple TV is not just about seeking a new growth market, it is about a technical shift to “connected smart services” of the future that offer everything online.

“But is Apple going to beat Netflix? Even if they roll out the red carpet for movie stars, it will be a challenge for Apple to provide a compelling new TV experience.”

The service is set to launch in over 100 countries by the end of the year.

Click here to read about Apple News+.

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