Imagine lining up 57.5 billion Apple iPads to build a wall measuring about 4000 miles long and 60 feet high. To put that into perspective, think of the Great Wall of China cloned and stacked on one top of the other, that's how big we are talking here folks. Now imagine all of those iPads stuffed choc-a-bloc with data. 1.8 zettabytes (or 1 billion terabytes if you prefer) of it to be precise.
That, somewhat incredulously, is the amount of data that will be created globally just this year according to the new IDC Digital Universe study ' Extracting Value from Chaos '.
The study suggests that the quantity of data being produced is now actually growing faster than Moore's Law, and yes I know Moore's Law does not apply to data but it's an interesting analogy nonetheless. The amount of data being produced around the world is now more than doubling every two years, which is really quite a frightening statistic.
Need more help visualising just how much data 1.8 zettabytes actually is? OK, how about if everyone, including you dear reader, were to Tweet consistently at a rate of 3 Tweets-per-minute for 26,976 years without stopping at all.
Other interesting things to note from the report include:
Data growth is outpacing the growth of data storage capacity (as a single gigabyte of data can generate a further petabyte of data that is transient in nature such as streaming audio for example)
Less than a third of this data has even minimal protection in terms of being secure
75 percent of the data is generated by individuals rather than corporates
and perhaps most intriguingly:
The number of files in which to encapsulate that data is growing at faster rate than the data itself. The study predicts that files will increase by a factor of eight over the next five years.