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IDC predicts the world's population to produce a total of 1,800,000,000 terabytes in 2011

The digital world is stretching by the seams as more data is being archived than ever before. Consumers are storing their lives on to hard drives at home in the form of digital pictures, digital video and everything in between while the enterprise domain is converting all of its paper file cabinets into digital file cabinets, eating up storage server after storage server and the size of this archived data isn't getting any smaller.

A recent study done by the IDC puts the total amount of data stored throughout the world today in numbers. Last years total data weighed in at approximately 281 exabytes, or 281,000,000 terabytes, which is about a 56% increase over the previous year's 180 exabyte data count.

However, according to IDC, the world's data will reach an astounding 1.80 zettabytes in 2011, about 10 times the data stored in 2006.

For consumers and IT professionals today it is difficult to even envision 1.8 zettabytes of data as we're still just reaching capacities in the terabyte and petabyte range. To get a better visualization 1.8 zettabytes, remember that the current highest capacity desktop and enterprise hard drives top out at one terabyte. One thousand of these terabyte hard drives would come out to one petabyte. One million terabyte hard drives would add up to be one exabyte. Finally, one billion terabyte hard drives would equal a zettabyte of storage space.

So how can the world's digital data reach the 1.8 zettabyte mark so quickly? The answer is that the world is converting pretty much everything into digital data including photographs, home videos, surveillance videos -- but even then IDC says this is not the main drive for increased storage.

According to a December 2007 IDC report, IDC Predictions 2008: The Post-Disruption marketplace Takes Shape, social networking sites may constitute one zettabyte of storage by 2011 on their own, with 2007 figures stated as roughly 255 exabytes.

John F. Gantz, IDC's chief research officer, says in an interview that CIO's should be aware of this tremendous rate of increase in data stored year after year because a lot of this data will enter the enterprise environment even if it has not been created there. Many corporate employees will bring about 85% of their digital photos, video, emails, and other personal digital artifacts into the workplace at some point and the enterprise will be responsible for the protection of it.

Aside from personal data, corporations will also convert tasks such as voice calls and surveillance video into digital files for archival purposes, and in no way will this process be reversed. This data is only going to pile on year after year, file after file and the CIO's of these corporations will need to come up with some way to better handle this increase in data.

Outside of the corporate world, 2009's conversion from analog to digital signals for television will begin a sub-initiative to convert all analog programming coded on analog media to digital format stored on media such as optical or magnetic storage devices, and with high-definition programming becoming the norm for many network and cable/satellite television networks, data stored will increase even further.

The increase in data produced is inevitable since we are in the digital age, however, the world will eventually require new methods of storing this data to reduce or remove the redundancy we have today.

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just an excuse
By fezzik1620 on 3/13/2008 3:06:07 PM , Rating: 6
I think this whole article is just an excuse to use the word Zettabyte.

RE: just an excuse
By tmouse on 3/13/2008 3:16:19 PM , Rating: 5
That and to increase the data to reach the almighty Zettabyte. I have now done my part.

I bet over 1 Zettabyte will be porn and get rich quick (lotto, abandoned bank accounts, make millions with e-bay ect) schemes.

RE: just an excuse
By ineedaname on 3/13/2008 7:25:14 PM , Rating: 5
If that's the case we should just call it the Pornabyte.

RE: just an excuse
By daftrok on 3/13/2008 9:51:23 PM , Rating: 5
Pornabyte is like infinity it has no limit.

RE: just an excuse
By nugundam93 on 3/17/2008 3:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
quick guys, have the pornabyte name registered! LOL!

RE: just an excuse
By amanojaku on 3/13/2008 3:25:34 PM , Rating: 3
Why not? Just think of the day we have hard drives that large, or NIC cards that fast! Drives will be filled with porn! Oh, uh, MP12's and Blu-ray game ISOs... Oh, uh, personal items and school projects. Yeah... uh, bandwidth will be clogged with P2P!

Windows will still be slow and hackable, however, and Linux won't make any more sense. MacOS will still be cool. And without games or more than 15% market share...

RE: just an excuse
By VahnTitrio on 3/13/2008 3:58:08 PM , Rating: 5
I think so to.

You have chosen to download: Everything
0% Complete
Download speed 1024KB/S
Time Remaining: 57,077,625.6 Years.

I'm getting good speeds, I better leave it run overnight ;)

RE: just an excuse
By waltzendless on 3/13/2008 11:12:35 PM , Rating: 5
PLEASE SEED! downloading at 10kb/s =(
more seeders plz, k?

RE: just an excuse
By Spoelie on 3/14/2008 5:30:32 AM , Rating: 3
The thing is, how much of all that is "redundant". Of the estimated total, a large percentage would be just copies of the same file.

Think about how many times "Britney Spears - Baby One More Time.mp3" has been downloaded, the horror.

RE: just an excuse
By Souka on 3/14/2008 12:49:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: just an excuse
By Maluno on 3/21/2008 12:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty generous estimate, don't you think?

RE: just an excuse
By sbrown on 3/13/2008 4:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
So I'm guessing it goes:
Gigabyte > Terabyte > Petabyte > Exabyte > Zettabyte ???

According to Wikipedia "Yottabyte" is next; a pretty obscure sounding name to me! I'm sure it must have some semantic sense behind it though.

RE: just an excuse
By KristopherKubicki on 3/13/2008 4:12:58 PM , Rating: 5
Gigabyte < Terabyte < Petabyte < Exabyte < Zettabyte < Yottabyte

The alligator always wants to eat the bigger meal :)

RE: just an excuse
By spindoc on 3/13/2008 4:20:59 PM , Rating: 3
I had to look it up too!

1024 zettabyte = 1 Yottabyte

Let the Star Wars joke commence!

"Many free space you have young padewan."

RE: just an excuse
By BigT383 on 3/23/2008 8:01:32 PM , Rating: 3
Man, how come my 1 yottabyte hard drive is actually only 847.032947 zettabytes? Stupid hard drive companies...

Or, would that be 847.032947 zebibytes and I want a 1 yobibyte hard drive?

RE: just an excuse
By R3MF on 4/9/2008 1:22:49 PM , Rating: 3
In Soviet Russia the Yottabytes backup you!

RE: just an excuse
By Xodus Maximus on 3/13/2008 4:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
Actually the next one is spelled Yodabyte, then followed by Vaderbyte.

I believe George Lucas came up with them, as a way to further milk the Star Wars universe in the future, after he finishes episode 0, -1, and -2.

RE: just an excuse
By habibo on 3/13/2008 5:55:44 PM , Rating: 5
My new laptop has an admiralackbarbyte of hard drive space...

RE: just an excuse
By Shawn5961 on 3/13/2008 6:31:29 PM , Rating: 3
Seriously? The computer I just built has two drives. One's 80 Bobafettbytes, the other is one of those new 8 Monmothmabytes.

RE: just an excuse
By sinful on 3/13/2008 8:26:10 PM , Rating: 4
I've got you beat. My computer has a Wookiebyte!

RE: just an excuse
By siberus on 3/14/2008 2:47:01 AM , Rating: 4
yeah well my new asus EEE came with an ewokabyte

RE: just an excuse
By Polynikes on 3/14/2008 7:09:35 AM , Rating: 2

RE: just an excuse
By plowak on 3/14/2008 11:31:05 AM , Rating: 3
Come on, now yer get'n into overbyte.

RE: just an excuse
By isorfir on 3/17/2008 2:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't, it's a TRAP!

By kristof007 on 3/13/2008 4:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
Glad to see a 6 up at the top =). I was curious... What percentage of this data is pornography?

RE: Pr0n!
By AstroCreep on 3/13/2008 7:07:44 PM , Rating: 3
Over half. Well over.

RE: Pr0n!
By Jedi2155 on 3/13/2008 10:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
I think we should give the Seagate CEO some applause...he's certainly doing his job well.

RE: Pr0n!
By xphile on 3/14/2008 6:15:21 AM , Rating: 2
Nope - I agree it is a huge percent, and I totally agree over half would not so long ago have been the percentage in the days when dial up still had the major connection volume; when nobody basically really TRIED to up or download video in a big way.

But today bit torrent means many many people are trafficking HUGE volumes of video and the percentage of it that is pr0n is sliding downwards quite significantly. TV shows, movies and music can now be hogged in abundance and they are.

RE: Pr0n!
By jadeskye on 3/14/2008 12:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
i've read in several articles that it's estimates to be around 70% of the entire internet is porn.

RE: Pr0n!
By MMilitia on 3/14/2008 5:21:46 AM , Rating: 3
I don't believe that is really true anymore.

I guess it depends what exactly you're talking about when you say 70% of "the Internet". If you're referring to the amount of content in bytes which is accessible via the Internet (in a client/server fashion) then I'd say that thanks rich content providers such as YouTube this 70% figure is a little dubious. You'll probably find that more like 30%-50% of content is adult, while the rest is cats playing pianos and such.

If you're talking about the amount of content which passes through the inter-tubes (they're just like pipes , I'm told) then I'd say a large portion of this is made up of P2P traffic, mostly consisting of TV shows and films. Obviously a considerable amount of P2P content is adult but my best guess would be it only makes up about 20%-30% of the total bandwidth utilized by P2P apps.

So in my opinion a rough breakdown taking into account both of these options would be something like this:
40% - Adult content
20% - TV shows/Films
40% - Rich web content (videos of kids setting themselves on fire, LOLCATS, Super Mario fan fiction)

RE: Pr0n!
By JustTom on 3/16/2008 9:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
A recent study done by the IDC puts the total amount of data stored throughout the world today in numbers. Last years total data weighed in at approximately 281 exabytes

According to a December 2007 IDC report, IDC Predictions 2008: The Post-Disruption marketplace Takes Shape, social networking sites may constitute one zettabyte of storage by 2011 on their own, with 2007 figures stated as roughly 255 exabytes.

If these figures are accurate social networking sites eat up 90% of all storage. So all those catty girls sniping each other on MySpace are driving storage sales.

One thing to think about
By 325hhee on 3/14/2008 12:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Can you imagine how long it would take to do a complete, file scan on a drive that large? I can make dinner, take a shower, watch a sitcom and still come back to my desk to see my computer is still scanning with only 500 gigs on the drive.

Oh, and a dedicated 80 gig hard drive for OS stuff only.

So I guess with a Zetta drive you can go on vacation for one week and come back it will still be scanning.

RE: One thing to think about
By superkdogg on 3/14/2008 1:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Nah because by then there will be 256 core CPU's and HDD's that use the force to allow the scan to be done from 128 different start points (only 50% of the CPU's power! :) and finish faster than your current scan.

^^^ This is BS and I know it, please don't flame

By SunAngel on 3/13/2008 3:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
i think that number would be reduced down to 1/32 if all the lifted blockbuster/netflix content was deleted

That's a lotta porn! =D
By Fenixgoon on 3/13/2008 3:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
'Nuff said =P

By judasmachine on 3/13/2008 7:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
So where does this put us on the Kardashev scale?

Porn is what they were talking about right?

How many bytes?
By download7 on 3/14/2008 1:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
How many bytes is 1,800,000,000 terabytes?

1 terabyte is 1,000,000,000,000 bytes and
1.8 zettabytes is 1,000,000,000 (billion) terabytes which so
1.8 zettabytes is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

1000000000000000000000 bytes, wow that's alot of 1s and 0s

Do your part
By gramboh on 3/14/2008 5:42:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well after a HDD scare I recently upgraded my total storage to 3.2TB over 5 drives including backup.

By sirius4k on 3/14/2008 7:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
Well. Isn't that a waste of bytes now ? =D Pretty pointless "news" =P

If you really wanna reach the 1 Pr0n'O'byte, You have to do better than that =P

When 1 Pr0n'O'byte is atteined there's so much data that we have to eject it into space. And then we're going to discuss about space pollution caused by our daily pr0n.

May the space be with You!
And one extra line.. just in case.

if you do the math...
By GlassHouse69 on 3/17/2008 12:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
IF you do the math on MEANINGFUL information stored on a computer... the whole world could fit on about a million or so terrabytes.

ever notice how your "work" (or school) part of your hd could fit easily on a cd, yet you have 2 terrabytes of storage almost filled....

doesn't seem like a great deal
By R3MF on 4/9/2008 1:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
i have 1.8 terabytes (900GB doubled), and there are 6 billion people in this world...........

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