How much data in the world by 2025?


I was doing SUSE Enterprise Storage training and one of the presentations quoted an IDC report as having recently revised the estimated total amount of data produced on the planet as reaching 163 Zetabytes by 2025. That is 163 followed by 21 zeros.That is just a number, a very big number to be sure. But what does it really mean? How can we gain some perspective from it?

Then I was watching the rest of the video presentation which was about 4 minutes long. So I googled a few things and discovered the average video clip on YouTube is about 4.2 minutes. Now it also seems that an amazing number of people watch YouTube on their mobile devices, often in low resolution. So if we average the available resolutions to 480p (YouTube default) we discover the average YouTube clip consumes about 21MB of storage. Great! But so what?

Well, if my math is correct, and it could possibly be flawed, we can extrapolate the following:
163 Zetabytes could hold 7.7 quadrillion clips (more than 7 with 15 zeroes)
With an average length of 4.2 minutes that equals over 543 trillion hours of video.That is around 62 billion years of YouTube watching.

In 2018 the world population is estimated at over 7.6 billion. So every man, woman, and child on the planet could sit in front of the screen, or mobile, and watch over 71,000 hours of YouTube fun and frolics that no one else has.
So when your partner says there is nothing to watch on the box you could perhaps point out that he/she is wrong and there must be something to interest.

Another mind boggling fact I have discovered during my journey along this path is when we talk of billions and trillions and quintillions there are some inconsistencies in what the number actually are. The US tend to place a billion at 1000 million or 1 followed by 9 zeroes. The British have a billion as a million million or 1 followed by 12 zeroes and so on. In my calculations I have used US terminology as all these zeroes were doing my head in. Commonly referred to as ‘short scale’ and ‘long scale’ it leads me to wonder how, without a crystal ball, how you would know what scale is being used for any quoted number.All this leads to the fact that data collected and stored is accelerating at a mind blowing rate and will continue to do so. It may well be time for your organisation to think about how much data you need to store and for how long. It may be a surprise the amount of data, especially the 80% that is typically unstructured, that needs to be stored. A flexible, infinitely expandable storage solution may be just be applicable to your business.
And of course if you are thinking how software defined storage may benefit your organisation you cannot go past SUSE Enterprise Storage.

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