As terabytes turn into petabytes, the surge in data quantities has sent costs spiralling. Even hard-drive makers are warning the crunch point is only months away. At this current rate of production, by 2016 the world will be producing more digital information than it can easily store. By 2020, we can predict a minimum capacity gap of over six zettabytes – nearly double all the data that was produced in 2013.
Just look at that mismatch between data and storage. For reference, one zettabyte would fill the storage on 34 billion smartphones.
It’s worth looking at why the problem exists: the proliferation of multiple data copies. Consumers make many copies of data on back-up drives, multiple devices and cloud storage. Businesses are worse because of the need to maintain copies for application development, regulatory compliance, business analytics and disaster protection. IDC reports 60 per cent of all corporate disk storage is allocated to copies of primary-source data.