Total data created in 2011 to hit 1.8ZB

By Gareth Morgan
30 Jun 2011 View Comments
Concept image of data backup with life preserving floating on background of binary data

The total amount of information created and replicated in 2011 is set to hit 1.8 zettabytes, according to new research – with the amount of information created across the world now more than doubling every two years.

According to a study by analyst group IDC, sponsored by storage giant EMC, the world’s information is growing at a faster rate than Moore’s Law.

Further reading

The 1.8 zettabytes created in 2011 is equivalent to every person on the planet having 215 million high-resolution MRI scans every day. One zettabyte is equivalent to one trillion gigabytes.

According to IDC, this rate of data growth will mean that over the coming decade IT leaders will have to deploy ten times the number of physical and virtual servers they have to day in order to manage the data their businesses are creating.

In the past few years, the volume of data being created has been inflated by the use and sharing of digital images, video and CCTV footage, said Cyrus Gilbert-Rolfe, a director at EMC’s consulting division.

“Today, we’re looking at it being possible to create datasets that map a persons entire genome for a few hundred dollars. When you think about moving or replicating those types of dataset, the volumes of data that businesses will routinely deal with is phenomenal,” he said.

The exponential growth in data within the enterprise will place huge burdens on firms to improve their skills around data analytics, compression, retention, virtualisation and have better processes to deal with data, he added.

But while the creation of so much data may stretch our capabilities to manage it, it would also present huge opportunities for businesses to innovate, by delivering ever-smarter information services, said Gilbert-Rolfe.

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