The World of Data as We Know It Keeps Growing

  • The World of Data As We Know It


Every year, human beings and our machines generate more data than we ever have before.

We’ve all heard the famous estimation from Eric Schmidt when he was CEO at Google in 2010: “There was 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003,” he proclaimed, “but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.”

There is, of course, no way to quantify data generation prior to the computer age.  Neither can a comprehensive measure of current data generation be exactly calculated.

Nevertheless, the truth of Schmidt’s underlying message — that the amount of data being generated, communicated, translated, and stored in the modern world has reached unfathomable levels — is apparent.

And, to some degree, this can be proven. Huge efforts have been made over the last few years to put some reasonably accurate numbers to the torrents of data flying to and from data center locations, company servers, mobile and web applications, the list goes on. Companies like Cisco, International Data Corporation (IDC), and others have compiled and analyzed years’ worth of data in order to get a pretty good idea of what’s out there and what to expect in the future. Many of their findings focus on the increasing prominence of cloud solutions for managing a growing mass of information and information technology.

Here, the folks at Workflow Studios have taken the core of many of those findings and translated them, for your viewing pleasure and ease of reference, into graphic form.

A few items I found particularly interesting:

  • The complete works of Shakespeare take up 5MB of data, whereas Facebook and Twitter together process 17TB of information each day (a Terabyte is a million megabytes so … of course these numbers don’t account for the quality of all data)
  • 70% of Cloud workloads in 2014 were in private clouds rather than public. But that is shifting, and will flip to majority public clouds by 2019.
  • Energy use is fast becoming the largest single expense in operating data centers.



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