Counting the Zettabytes

As the Information Age continues to accelerate away at a dizzing rate, the need for compounding data storage is enough to give anyone a nose bleed. So just how much space in the Cloud will mankind demand in a few years, let alone a century from now?

According to research by Nasuni there is over 1 Exabyte of data stored in the cloud today.

An Exabyte is:

  • 1,024 Petabytes of data
  • 1,073,741,824 Gigabytes of data
  • A quintillion bytes of data
  • Over 67 million iPhones worth of data
  • 50,000 trees made into paper, and then printed.
“There was 5 Exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.” Eric Schmidt

Gartner has stated that consumers will store more than a third of their digital content in the cloud by 2016.

Gartner said that just 7 percent of consumer content was stored in the cloud in 2011, but this will grow to 36 percent in 2016. Gartner predicts that worldwide consumer digital storage needs will grow from 329 Exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 Zettabytes in 2016.

“Historically, consumers have generally stored content on their PCs, but as we enter the post-PC era, consumers are using multiple connected devices, the majority of which are equipped with cameras. This is leading to a massive increase in new user-generated content that requires storage,” Shalini Verma

The Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) report is an ongoing effort to forecast the growth of global data center and cloud‑based IP traffic.

Cisco GCI estimates that:

  • By 2018, 53 percent (2 billion) of the consumer Internet population will use personal cloud storage, up from 38 percent (922 million users) in 2013 (Figure 1)
Figure 1. Personal Cloud Storage — Growth in Users. Source: Cisco Global Cloud Index, 2013–2018; Juniper Research.
  • Globally, consumer cloud storage traffic per user will be 811 megabytes per month by 2018, compared to 186 megabytes per month in 2013 (figure 2).
Figure 2. Consumer Cloud Storage Traffic Growth. Source: Cisco Global Cloud Index, 2013–2018; Juniper Research

Microsoft: We’re Going to Have 44 Zettabytes of Data in the Cloud.

At the Microsoft Convergence 2015 Conference, Chief Executive Satya Nadella announced:

“We’re going to have something like 26 billion internet-connected devices and 44 Zettabytes of data in the cloud by 2019,” Nadella said. “How do we make sure that the ability to have access to that data, the ability to act on the insight — those small patterns that, we as humans, recognise in data? The real power comes from our ability to act on those insights.”

44 Zettabytes actually represents: 1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte, 1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte, 1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte, 1000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte, 1000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte!!

Cisco Virtual Networking Index

Please share your thoughts and any further research or additional statistics.

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