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(Photo: Cisco)

Data-center traffic will nearly triple between 2013 and 2018 and cloud-based interactions will represent 76 pc of that traffic, according to a study by Cisco.

The US-based networking specialist also predicted that, by 2018, half of the world's population will have residential internet access and 53 pc of them will use some kind of personal cloud storage service.

Global data center traffic will grow at an average annual rate of 23 pc from 3.1 zettabytes a year in 2013 to 8.6 zettabytes a year in 2018. A zettabyte equals 1 trillion gigabytes.

Cisco noted that global cloud traffic is growing at a faster clip. While cloud accounted for 54 pc of total data center traffic in 2013, this is set to increase to 76 pc by 2018.

In 2013, 79 countries were deemed to be "cloud ready," which means they have sufficient average upload and download speeds on their networks and low enough latency to be able to use cloud-based services effectively. The number of countries grew to 109 in 2014.

Cisco's top 10 countries with leading fixed network performance were (in alphabetical order): Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

For leading mobile network performance, Cisco cited: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar and Uruguay.