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Global Data Volume Grew to 2.8 Zettabytes in 2012

In 2012, the world generated and replicated about 2.8 zettabytes (ZB) of data. The "digital universe" is forecast to reach 40 ZB by 2020, up from previous estimates of just 5 ZB.

According to IDC, the data volume will have grown 50-fold in 2020 from 2010 levels. One of the most significant drivers of this growth will be machine-generated data which will grow 15x until 2020. By that time, the data created in emerging markets will exceed the data created in the developed world.

IDC used some interesting images to illustrate the sheer quantity of 40 ZB: 40 ZB is equal to 57 times the amount of all the grains of sand on all the beaches on earth. If we could save all 40 ZB onto today’s Blu-ray discs, the weight of those discs would be the same as 424 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Or, 40 ZB will represent 5,247 GB of data per person worldwide.

Click through twice to see the full image.

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  • zrobbb
    So. Much. Porn...
    Reply
  • wavetrex
    The numbers are pulled out of their collective a$$es. It's impossible to estimate how much data exists today...

    For example, one single PRIVATE torrent tracker which I have access to tracks around 500 TB of "unique" data, but there are tens of thousands of users, which replicate this data in large amounts. And that's just multimedia on ONE such site.
    What about all the crap that every company stores in their datacenters? Nobody knows exactly what they have, the data is private. What about the billions of people that use one kind of computer, nobody would know exactly how much data they have stored and what it represents.
    Reply
  • smuggl3r
    wavetrexThe numbers are pulled out of their collective a$$es. It's impossible to estimate how much data exists today...For example, one single PRIVATE torrent tracker which I have access to tracks around 500 TB of "unique" data, but there are tens of thousands of users, which replicate this data in large amounts. And that's just multimedia on ONE such site.What about all the crap that every company stores in their datacenters? Nobody knows exactly what they have, the data is private. What about the billions of people that use one kind of computer, nobody would know exactly how much data they have stored and what it represents.
    What they are talking about is internet traffic. That can be measured easily.
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    http://what-if.xkcd.com/23/
    Read the bit under the heading "How much physical space does the internet take up?" It is surprisingly small.

    I think this is the big push towards cloud storage. If we can get file recognition software fast enough to know when there is a duplicate then there is great potential to have a 'global' file system which houses all popular bulk media (video, audo, pics, etc), so that there is 1 (extremely backed up) copy of things to be streamed to end-users instead of each and every user having their very own copy of everything they like and enjoy. Meaning one copy of the lord of the rings trilogy taking up some 40GB of glorious HD footage on a server, compared to 1000 users eating up a collective 40TB of space.

    As I get older and now have drives full of pics and vids of my own life and kiddos, I am loving services like Netflix more and more. Give me a small monthly fee, and when a new HD version of something comes out then I already have access to it, rather than buying the VHS, then the Laser Disc, then the DVD, then the BlueRay, etc. I guess the only problem is that Netflix does not have everything I would like to watch.
    Reply
  • Wavetrex, ". . . the world generated and REPLICATED . . ."

    In the very first sentence.
    Reply
  • stingstang
    CaedenVhttp://what-if.xkcd.com/23/Read the bit under the heading "How much physical space does the internet take up?" It is surprisingly small.I think this is the big push towards cloud storage. If we can get file recognition software fast enough to know when there is a duplicate then there is great potential to have a 'global' file system which houses all popular bulk media (video, audo, pics, etc), so that there is 1 (extremely backed up) copy of things to be streamed to end-users instead of each and every user having their very own copy of everything they like and enjoy. Meaning one copy of the lord of the rings trilogy taking up some 40GB of glorious HD footage on a server, compared to 1000 users eating up a collective 40TB of space.As I get older and now have drives full of pics and vids of my own life and kiddos, I am loving services like Netflix more and more. Give me a small monthly fee, and when a new HD version of something comes out then I already have access to it, rather than buying the VHS, then the Laser Disc, then the DVD, then the BlueRay, etc. I guess the only problem is that Netflix does not have everything I would like to watch.
    "The Internet" Isn't a thing. It's the label of what the connection between computers is. The only actual space that would take up is in wires.
    Reply