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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!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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