IDC sounded its annual claxon about data growth trends and announced by 2020 we will be squirreling away 40,000 exabytes. That is an unapproachably large number. So, let me put it in clearer context for the layman. If all those exabytes fit on CD’s they would create a stack long enough to wrap around the Earth 12 times! And that’s not putting them side by side, that’s the 1.2mm thick CD’s stacked on top of each other.
As indicated in Symform’s own research, a majority of small businesses and the IT consultants that serve them estimate their annual data growth rates to be between 10 to 40% — with a full 7% expecting their data volumes to more than double in a year.
Dealing with Data growth
Most of us deal with the ongoing trend of data growth without making changes to our current behavior. We express some unhappiness, spend some more $ on our data, but still do not change any of our data generating and saving behaviors. But why does the data tide keep rising?
Four factors fan the flames of data growth.
Kryder was Right
Clouds Cast a Big Data Shadow
Keep Data and Carry On
Hard drives continue to get cheaper (with a Thai food hiccough that only served to underscore the expected cost trend) and memory storage density sports a sizzling slope as it obeys to Kryder’s Law. Kryder’s Law, by the way, makes the 18 month doubling of Moore’s Law look like a positively pokey pace. Bigger, cheaper hard drives bring down costs for both local and cloud data storage. SSDs just add form factor convenience.
Cloud storage and its sprawling spawn –the sync, stream and sharing services –come with their own sets of data growth factors. You now have not only your own data growing, but also have growth from the copies of the files and folders shared with you by friends and colleagues. Fibonacci would be proud.
Our oh-so-convenient devices inspire us to generate data. I am not talking about lowly spreadsheets, presentations and documents crafted in productive workplaces. The big volume growth is elsewhere. One always has a camera they can hold out the window of the tour bus to shoot awesome video of other tourists along with street signs, traffic signals and abutments. That video is just a Wi-Fi connection away from the nearest cloud and sharing with the folks back home.
Unless driven by unyielding corporate policy with rules engines that automatically clear out old files, folders and emails, we just don’t bother with proper data hygiene. And in truth, I have seen more activity to circumvent data governance than I have seen in obedience of it. Having a trove of data brings people great reassurance and comfort. By the way, plaintiffs’ attorneys, their clients and eDiscovery vendors love us for our laziness.
How are you planning for and coping with data growth? Does it deserve more than a shoulder shrug and a bump in the budget? What does it cost you and your organization in dollars, time, and attention?