The world’s data is doubling every two years. The amount of data created in 2011 alone would be enough to fill 57.5 billion 32GB Apple iPads, which lined up would be the length of the Great Wall of China and twice its height, according to a new study.
The research, from EMC forms part of its annual Digital Universe study. Now in its fifth year, the IDC Digital Universe report entitled “Extracting Value from Chaos” has found that 1.8 zettabytes of digital data will be created by the end of 2011.
In real terms this equals:
• Every person in the UK tweeting 3 tweets per minute for 134,688 years nonstop
• A wall of 32GB iPads, 4,005-miles long and 61-feet high
• Over 200 billion, 2 hour long HD movies – would take 1 person 47 million years to watch every movie 24×7
• Build a mountain 25-times higher than Mt. Fuji
• If each person in UK was able to assist in downloading all the data that was created in the 2011 DU then it would take 620 days to download
With more people and businesses putting their data online and into the cloud, the Digital Universe is clearly rapidly expanding.
• 75% of the information in the digital universe is generated by individuals, enterprises have some liability for 80% of this information at some point in its digital life.
• The amount of information individuals create themselves—writing documents, taking pictures, downloading music, etc.—is far less than the amount of information being created about them in the digital universe today
• The number of “files,” or containers that encapsulate the information in the digital universe, is growing even faster than the information itself. In the next five years, these files will grow by a factor of 8, while the pool of IT staff available to manage them will grow only slightly.
The forces behind this relentless growth are driven by technology and money. New “information taming” technologies are driving the cost of creating, capturing, managing and storing information down to one-sixth of what it was in 2005.
Additionally, since 2005 annual enterprise investments in the Digital Universe—cloud, hardware, software, services, and staff to create, manage, store and generate revenue from the information—have increased 50% to $4 trillion (USD).
• Massive Server, Data Management and File Growth Not Keeping Pace with Staffing: IDC notes that the skills, experience, and resources to manage the deluge of data and resources simply isn’t keeping pace with all areas of growth. Over the next decade (by 2020), IT departments worldwide will experience:
• 10X the number of servers (virtual and physical).
• 50X the amount of information to be managed.
• 75X the number of files or containers that encapsulate the information in the digital universe, which is growing even faster than the information itself as more and more embedded systems, such as sensors in clothing, in bridges, or medical devices.
• 1.5X the number of IT professionals available to manage it all.
• Cloud Computing Cost and Operational Efficiency: While cloud computing accounts for less than 2% of IT spending today, IDC estimates that by 2015 nearly 20% of the information will be “touched” by cloud computing service providers — meaning that somewhere in a byte’s journey from originator to disposal it will be stored or processed in a cloud. Perhaps as much as 10% will be maintained in a cloud.
• The Digital Shadow Has a Mind of Its Own: The amount of information individuals create themselves—writing documents, taking pictures, downloading music, etc.—is far less than the amount of information being created about them in the digital universe.
• The Liability and Responsibility is with Enterprises: While 75% of the information in the digital universe is generated by individuals, enterprises have some liability for 80% of information in the digital universe at some point in its digital life.
“The chaotic volume of information that continues growing relentlessly presents an endless amount of opportunity—driving transformational societal, technological, scientific, and economic changes,” said Jeremy Burton, Chief Marketing Officer, EMC Corporation. “Big Data is forcing change in the way businesses manage and extract value from their most important asset – information. EMC is at an ideal crossroad to help our customers—from the world’s largest enterprises to governments to small businesses—exploit the hidden value in the digital universe as they continue on their journey to the cloud.”
Other Key Findings
• New capture, search, discovery, and analysis tools can help organisations gain insights from their unstructured data, which accounts for more than 90% of the digital universe. These tools can create data about data automatically, much like facial recognition routines that help tag Facebook photos. Data about data, or metadata, is growing twice as fast as the digital universe as a whole.
• Business intelligence tools increasingly are dealing with real-time data, whether it’s charging auto insurance premiums based on where people drive, routing power through the intelligent grid, or changing marketing messages on the fly based on social networking responses.
• New storage management tools are available to cut the costs of the part of the digital universe we store, such as de-duplication, auto-tiering and virtualisation, as well as to help us decide what exactly to store, as in content management solutions.
• New security practices and tools can help enterprises identify the information that needs to be secured and at what level of security, and then do so from specific threat protection devices and software to fraud management systems and reputation protection services.
• Cloud computing solutions – both public and private and a combination of the two known as hybrid – provide enterprises with new levels of economies of scale, agility, and flexibility, compared to traditional IT environments. Long term this will be a key tool for dealing with the complexity of the digital universe.
• Cloud computing is enabling the consumption of IT-as-a-Service . Couple that with the Big Data phenomenon, and organisations increasingly will be motivated to consume IT as an external service vs. internal infrastructure investments.
• The growth of the digital universe continues to outpace the growth of storage capacity. But keep in mind that a gigabyte of stored content can generate a petabyte or more of transient data that we typically don’t store (e.g., digital TV signals we watch but don’t record, voice calls that are made digital in the network backbone for the duration of a call).
• Less than a third of the information in the digital universe can be said to have at least minimal security or protection; only about half the information that should be protected is protected.