4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2017 5:53 AM by RSS

Definition of data centers

Hi, I have a couple of questions related to the Cisco Global Cloud Index. I think about the data center sector based on who owns/operates data centers (enterprise, 3rd party data center companies, hyperscale) so I am just trying to reconcile my definitions with the ones in the report:


1) What is the difference between traditional data centers and cloud data centers? Please note that I have read the Cisco Global Cloud Index Q&A but I did not find that answer particularly helpful based on the premise above. Perhaps, you can help me understand if traditional data centers include in-sourced data centers (enterprise) and outsourced data centers (3rd party data centers), while cloud data centers are the ones owned by Hyperscale providers?


2) Somewhat related to question above, I think Figure 18 and 19 are very helpful. How should I think about private cloud data centers vs. public cloud data centers? The formers are in-sourced and the latters are again owned by hyperscale providers?



thanks very much in advance.

  • 1. Re: Definition of data centers

    Thanks for your interest in Cisco Global Cloud Index.


    We do not differentiate between cloud and traditional data center based upon data center ownership/ or who operates the data center. Per our Q&A document, a cloud data center has to have five essential characteristics of cloud as defined by NIST. It can be operated by a third party or by an enterprise.  Likewise a traditional data center too can be operated/ owned by a third party or an enterprise.  Cloud data centers can be both public and private.  Where a private cloud would be owned and managed by enterprise IT and public cloud would lie on the service provider side of demark and would be managed and operated by the service provider. By our definition hyperscale providers would fall in the public cloud space.


    I hope that answers your question.


    Excerpt from Cisco Global Cloud Index Q&A document<http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/q-and-a-c67-738065.pdf>:


    Q How is cloud defined in the Cisco GCI?


    A The Cisco GCI aligns with the industry-standard cloud computing definition from the National Institute of Technology (NIST). The NIST definition lists five essential characteristics of cloud computing: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity or expansion, and measured service. Deployment models include private, public, and hybrid clouds (or a combination of these). These distinct forms of cloud computing support a variety of software, platform, and infrastructure services. Cloud data centers can be operated by service providers as well as private enterprises.

    However, there is a slight variation from the NIST definition in how we define private and public cloud. A cloud service could be public or private depending on the demarcation line—the physical or virtual demarcation—between the public telecommunications network and the private network of an organization. If the cloud assets lie on the service provider side of the demarcation line, then it would be considered a public cloud service. Virtual private cloud (VPC) falls into this category. Also, multitenant consumer cloud services would be included in this category. If the cloud assets lie on the organization side of the demarcation line, then it would be considered a private cloud service. In general, a dedicated cloud, owned and managed by an organization’s IT, would be considered a private cloud.

  • 2. Re: Definition of data centers



    can I ask you to define for me "of all of data center" in Figure 3? I would like to understand if these % statistics refer to all the servers, data, processing power and traffic in outsourced data centers only? or do these statistics take into account also the in-house data centers?


    so for example when the figure shows that by "2020 hyperscale data centers will house 47% of all the data center servers", is it 47% of all the servers located in both outsourced and in-house data centers (i.e. in every existing data centers)? or 47% of all the servers located in outsourced data centers?


    thank you very much in advance for your kind reply.

  • 3. Re: Definition of data centers

    Thanks for your continued interest in the Global Cloud Index.


    To clarify when we say “47% of all data center servers” we are including all data centers – outsourced as well as in-house.


    Within the GCI forecast, there are several data center types defined by their size and function. From small server closets to large hyperscale deployments, data centers deliver IT services and provide storage, communications, and networking to consumers and their growing number of networked devices, as well as business users and processes. As part of our analysis about where and how data center servers are deployed globally, these three general storage and computing environments are considered:

    ·         Server room or closet: An air-conditioned room devoted to the continuous operation of computer servers. These servers are generally managed internally and designed to supportthe computing and storage needs of a single company or organization.

    ·         Service provider data center: Many traditional service providers offer data center environments and services that deliver processing, storage, networking, management, and distribution of data within enterprises and small-to-medium businesses. These data centers might also support some consumer services and storage.

    ·         Hyperscale data center: Independent analyst firm Synergy (a syndicated research source for the Cisco GCI forecast) has identified 24 hyperscale operators. To be a hyperscale cloud operator, a company must meet the following infrastructure- as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software- as-a-service (SaaS), or other cloud service revenue requirements:

    o    - >$1B in IaaS/PaaS (for example, Amazon/AWS, Rackspace, NTT, IBM) or

    o    - >$2B in SaaS (for example, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, Oracle) or

    o    - >$4B in Internet/search/social networking (for example, Facebook, Apple, Tencent, Yahoo) or

    o    - >$8B in e-commerce/payment processing (for example, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba)


    These hyperscale data centers will grow from 259 in number at the end of 2015 to 485 by 2020. They will represent 47 percent of all installed data center servers by 2020. In other words, they will account for 83 percent of the public cloud server installed base in 2020 and 86 percent of public cloud workloads.


    Hope this helps.

  • 4. Re: Definition of data centers


    Who are the companies that have the data centers?  Page 4 of the global cloud index, the number of data centers considered is 24. Who are they?