Not even 1/100th of the data we handle in a year, according to an AP article featured on BusinessWeek.com.
The high points:
- [The] IDC determined that the world generated 161 billion gigabytes — 161 exabytes — of digital information last year.
- The previous best estimate came from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who totaled the globe’s information production at 5 exabytes in 2003.
- If the IDC study counted the same stuff in the same was as the 2003 study, it’s total would have been only (only) 40 exabytes.
That’s at least an 8x growth in 3 years. The hook:
IDC estimates that the world had 185 exabytes of storage available last year and will have 601 exabytes in 2010. But the amount of stuff generated is expected to jump from 161 exabytes last year to 988 exabytes (closing in on 1 zettabyte) in 2010.
So—if we kept it all—we wouldn’t have a place to put it. Which all happily reinforces my recent decision to delete, rather than save indefinitely, my email. See, I’m helping; take that, Al Gore!
(Hat tip to Sun’s HPC Watercooler for the pointer).