Global cloud traffic is expected to rise almost fourfold, up from 3.9 zettabytes (ZB) per year in 2015 to 14.1 ZB per year by 2020, according to the recently released Cisco Global Cloud Index (2015-2020).
In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow a little more than fourfold in the next four years.
This rapid growth of cloud traffic is attributed to increased migration to cloud architectures and their ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centers.
With greater virtualization, cloud operators are also able to achieve greater operational efficiencies while flexibly delivering a growing variety of services to businesses and consumers with optimal performance. To better understand data center growth, new analysis on application workloads was developed for this year’s report.
The following business and consumer projections were revealed:
• By 2020, business workloads will account for 72 percent (344.5 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 79 percent (142.3 million) in 2015 (2.4-fold growth).
• By 2020, compute workloads will account for 29 percent of total business workloads, compared to 28 percent in 2015.
• By 2020, collaboration workloads will account for 24 percent of total business workloads, compared to 25 percent in 2015.
• By 2020, database/analytics/Internet of Things (IoT) workloads will account for 22 percent of total business workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.
• By 2020, consumer workloads will account for 28 percent (134.3 million) of total data center workloads, compared to 21 percent (38.6 million) in 2015 (3.5-fold growth).
• By 2020, video streaming workloads will account for 34 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 29 percent in 2015.
• By 2020, social networking workloads will account for 24 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 20 percent in 2015.
By 2020, search workloads will account for 15 percent of total consumer workloads, compared to 17 percent in 2015
“The IT industry has taken cloud computing from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible networking solution. With large global cloud deployments, operators are optimizing their data center strategies to meet the growing needs of businesses and consumers,” said Andy MacDonald, Vice President Global Service Providers; Middle East, Africa and Russia, Cisco. “In the six years of this study, cloud computing has advanced from an emerging technology to an essential scalable and flexible part of architecture for service providers.
For the first time, Cisco also quantified and analyzed the impact of hyperscale data centers. These data centers are expected to grow from 259 in 2015 to 485 by 2020. Hyperscale data center traffic is projected to quintuple over the next five years. These infrastructures will account for 47 percent of total data center installed servers and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.
A key infrastructure trend is transforming hyperscale (and other) data centers. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are helping to flatten data center architectures and streamline traffic flows. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of global hyperscale data centers are expected to deploy SDN/NFV solutions. By 2020, 44 percent of traffic within data centers will be supported by SDN/NFV platforms (up from 23 percent in 2015) as operators strive for greater efficiencies.
Middle East and Africa Global Cloud Index Forecasted Highlights and Projections:
1. Data Center Traffic Highlights
- In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will reach 328 Exabytes per year (27 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 82 Exabytes per year (6.8 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic will grow 4.0-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 32% from 2014 to 2019.
- In Middle East and Africa, data center traffic grew 40% in 2014, up from 59 Exabytes per year (4.9 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
- In Middle East and Africa, 59.9% of data center traffic will remain within the data center by 2019, compared to 74.0% in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, 33.0% of data center traffic will travel to end users by 2019, compared to 18.9% in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, 7.1% of data center traffic will travel between data centers by 2019, compared to 7.1% in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, consumer data center traffic will represent 65% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 32% in 2014.
2. Cloud Traffic Highlights
- In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will represent 86% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 61% in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will reach 280 Exabytes per year (23 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 50 Exabytes per year (4.2 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic will grow 5.6-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 41% from 2014 to 2019.
- In Middle East and Africa, cloud data center traffic grew 61% in 2014, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
- In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 61% of cloud data center traffic by 2019, compared to 30% in 2014.
3. Traditional Traffic Highlights
- In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will represent 14% of total data center traffic by 2019, compared to 39% in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will reach 47 Exabytes per year (4.0 Exabytes per month) by 2019, up from 31 Exabytes per year (2.6 Exabytes per month) in 2014.
- In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic will grow 1.5-fold by 2019, at a CAGR of 9% from 2014 to 2019.
- In Middle East and Africa, traditional data center traffic grew 16% in 2014, up from 27 Exabytes per year (2.3 Exabytes per month) in 2013.
- In Middle East and Africa, consumer will represent 89% of traditional data center traffic by 2019, compared to 35% in 2014.
UN calls for electronics overhaul to beat e-waste
Seven UN entities have come together at the World Economic Forum to tackle the escalating scourge of electronic waste.
Seven UN entities have come together, supported by the World Economic Forum, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to call for an overhaul of the current electronics system, with the aim of supporting international efforts to address e-waste challenges.
The report calls for a systematic collaboration with major brands, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), academia, trade unions, civil society and associations in a deliberative process to reorient the system and reduce the waste of resources each year with a value greater than the GDP of most countries.
Each year, approximately 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste)
Less than 20% of this is recycled formally. Informally, millions of people worldwide (over 600,000 in China alone) work to dispose of e-waste, much of it done in working conditions harmful to both health and the environment.
The report, “A New Circular Vision for Electronics – Time for a Global Reboot,” launched in Davos 24 January, says technologies such as cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), support gradual “dematerialization” of the electronics industry.
Meanwhile, to capture the global value of materials in the e-waste and create global circular value chains, the report also points to the use of new technology to create service business models, better product tracking and manufacturer or retailer take-back programs.
The report notes that material efficiency, recycling infrastructure and scaling up the volume and quality of recycled materials to meet the needs of electronics supply chains will all be essential for future production.
And if the electronics sector is supported
The joint report calls for collaboration with multinationals, SMEs, entrepreneurs, academia, trade unions, civil society and associations to create a circular economy for electronics where waste is designed out, the environmental impact is reduced and decent work is created for millions.
The new report supports the work of the E-waste Coalition, which includes:
- International Labour Organization (ILO);
- International Telecommunication Union (ITU);
- United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment);
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);
- United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR);
- United Nations University (UNU), and
- Secretariats of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions (BRS).
The Coalition is supported by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum and coordinated by the Secretariat of the Environment Management Group (EMG).
Considerable work is being done on the ground. For example, in order to grasp the opportunity of the circular economy, today the Nigerian Government, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UN Environment announce a 2 million dollar investment to kick off the formal e-waste recycling industry in Nigeria. The new investment will leverage over 13 million dollars in additional financing from the private sector.
According to the International Labour Organization, in Nigeria up 100,000 people work in the informal e-waste sector. This investment will help to create a system which formalizes these workers, giving them safe and decent employment while capturing the latent value in Nigeria’s 500,000 tonnes of e-waste.
UNIDO collaborates with a large number of organizations on e-waste projects, including UNU, ILO, ITU, and WHO, as well as various other partners, such as Dell and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). In the Latin American and Caribbean region, a UNIDO e-waste project, co-funded by GEF, seeks to support sustainable economic and social growth in 13 countries. From upgrading e-waste recycling
Another Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) report launched today by the World Economic Forum, with support from Accenture Strategy, outlines a future in which Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies provide a tool to achieve a circular economy efficiently and effectively, and where all physical materials are accompanied by a digital dataset (like a passport or fingerprint for materials), creating an ‘internet of materials.’ PACE is a collaboration mechanism and project accelerator hosted by the World Economic Forum which brings together 50 leaders from business, government and international organizations to collaborate in moving towards the circular economy.
Matrics must prepare for AI
By Vian Chinner, CEO and founder of Xineoh.
Many in the matric class of 2018 are currently weighing up their options for the future. With the country’s high unemployment rate casting a shadow on their opportunities, these future jobseekers have been encouraged to look into which skills are required by the market, tailoring their occupational training to align with demand and thereby improving their chances of finding a job, writes Vian Chinner – a South African innovator, data scientist and CEO of the machine learning company specialising in consumer behaviour prediction, Xineoh.
With rapid innovation and development in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), all careers – including high-demand professions like engineers, teachers and electricians – will look significantly different in the years to come.
Notably, the third wave of internet connectivity, whereby our physical world begins to merge with that of the internet, is upon us. This is evident in how widespread AI is being implemented across industries as well as in our homes with the use of automation solutions and bots like Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. So much data is collected from the physical world every day and AI makes sense of it all.
Not only do new industries related to technology like AI open new career paths, such as those specialising in data science, but it will also modify those which already exist.
So, what should matriculants be considering when deciding what route to take?
For highly academic individuals, who are exceptionally strong in mathematics, data science is definitely the way to go. There is, and will continue to be, massive demand internationally as well as locally, with Element-AI noting that there are only between 0 and 100 data scientists in South Africa, with the true number being closer to 0.
In terms of getting a foot in the door to become a successful data scientist, practical experience, working with an AI-focused business, is essential. Students should consider getting an internship while they are studying or going straight into an internship, learning on the job and taking specialist online courses from institutions like Stanford University and MIT as they go.
This career path is, however, limited to the highly academic and mathematically gifted, but the technology is inevitably going to overlap with all other professions and so, those who are looking to begin their careers should take note of which skills will be in demand in future, versus which will be made redundant by AI.
In the next few years, technicians who are able to install and maintain new technology will be highly sought after. On the other hand, many entry level jobs will likely be taken care of by AI – from the slicing and dicing currently done by assistant chefs, to the laying of bricks by labourers in the building sector.
As a rule, students should be looking at the skills required for the job one step up from an entry level position and working towards developing these. Those training to be journalists, for instance, should work towards the skill level of an editor and a bookkeeping trainee, the role of financial consultant.
This also means that new workforce entrants should be prepared to walk into a more demanding role, with more responsibility, than perhaps previously anticipated and that the country’s education and training system should adapt to the shift in required skills.
The matric classes of 2018 have completed their schooling in the information age and we should be equipping them, and future generations, for the future market – AI is central to this.