Data Deluge: More Numbers Predict Crushing Amounts of Information

first_imgJust when people are becoming familiar with the concept of a terrabyte and are starting to see references to petabyte-sized storage systems, the world is moving up to the next level up of storage, the exabyte, that’s 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes.Exabyte are to be followed by Zettabyte and Yottabyte.  The names for byte volumes are crazy and will become ever more confusing as information volumes grow.  It is inevitable that some alternative naming convention will take over.  But until then, we are entering the world of the exabyte.The address space for 64-bit architectures is 16 exabytes.  All words ever spoken by human beings can be represented in 5 exabytes of data.  In 1999 the total volume of information generated was estimated as 2 exabytes.  In 2006, the volume grew to 161 exabytes.The numbers are becoming unimaginable.  161 exabytes is 3 million times all the information in books ever written, or 12 stacks of books each extending 92 million miles from the earth to the sun.In a report from IDC, they estimate that information will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 57 percent, hitting 988 exabytes in 2010. Digital images are one big reason why we’re seeing such torrid growth in information volume.  By 2010, the number of images captured by digital cameras will exceed 500 billion.  In 2006 there were more than 150 billion digital cameras worldwide and 1.6 billion mailboxes sending and receiving emails. We may outgrow 64-bit architectures a lot faster than anyone would have thought.last_img

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