Sunday, March 23, 2008

Digital information exceeded the avaible storage space

For the first time, the amount of digital information created each year has exceeded the world's available storage space, according to a new IDC report.

"This is our first time ... where we couldn't store all the information we create even if we wanted to," states the report, titled The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe.

The amount of information created, captured and replicated in 2007 was 281EB (exabytes or 281 billion GB). This is 10 percent more than IDC previously believed - and more than the 264EB of available storage on hard drives, tapes, CDs, DVDs and memory.

IDC revised its estimate upward after realising it had underestimated shipments of cameras and digital TVs, as well as the amount of information replication.

The 2007 total is well above that of 2006, when 161EB of digital information was created.

We're not actually running out of storage space, IDC notes, because a lot of digital information doesn't need to be stored, such as radio and TV broadcasts consumers listen to and watch but don't record, voice call packets that aren't needed when a call is over, and surveillance video that isn't saved.

But the gap between available storage and digital information will only grow, making it that much harder for vendors and enterprises to efficiently store information that is needed.

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