Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The latest challenge: "Information Explosion"

As if there weren't enough challenges already for network administrators, a recent report has warned of Data Explosion.

Don't be shocked, it's not a terror-related concept, it's just a term to refer to the massive amounts of data being produced daily by users worldwide which is being 'stock-piled' in servers eating up billions of gigabytes.

The usual suspects, International Data Corp. (IDC) have come up with this new pressing issue as part of a study called The expanding digital universe, which found the information stored on disk arrays has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 60 percent over the last decade and that growth rate is predicted to be maintained through to 2010.

The amount of information created, stored and replicated in 2006 has been calculated by the study to be 161 billion gigabytes - equivalent to three million times the information in all books ever written. That figure is expected to reach 988 billion gigabytes by 2010.

What this means is that the Internet authorities, or whoever is responsible for its servers must find solutions, or space for all this data.

But, as it seems, this is a multi-layered problem, as businesses also face this information explosion over the next three years as the number of digital images, email inboxes and broadband connections doubles.

The user-generated revolution seems to be an additional driving force behind this explosion. Apart from the challenge of storage, there are issues of structuring this glut of information. The research predicts almost 90 percent of data will be unstructured, compared to around 70 percent historically.

Then, of course, there are environmental issues related to increased power requirements, cooling equipment, personnel and data security challenges at all levels.

As everyone and everything goes digital, terabytes are being gobbled up. For example, the Information Heritage Initiative in the US has donated $1m in equipment, products and services to the US Smithsonian Institution's programme to digitize its collections. This donation includes 100 terabytes of archival storage capacity and an EMC Centera content storage system.

So you can imagine how many governmental and business organizations around the world are doing the same!

Who would have thought that the information age would cause so much trouble?


At 10:41 PM , Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

This doesn't come as a surprise. As you know, network bandwidth, and storage requirements follow Moore's law too.

At 12:51 PM , Anonymous Maro said...

Well I totally agree but would like to add one question.

How much of that data do you think is ever checked again or adds value to the person keeping it?

I have a lot of data on my harddrive and yet I admit that I only use less than 30% of it.

Why do I keep it? the short answer is: I might need it some day...
Sometimes I think that by the time I figure out I could use this data it will be obsolete!


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