Storage Soup

Mar 6 2007   10:34AM GMT

Digital Universe

JoMaitland Jo Maitland Profile: JoMaitland

EMC has sponsored a report by IDC, out today, on the exploding growth of data. It attempts to perform a census of the amount of digital information created/copied in the world and project its growth rates. Here it is:

Here’s a taste of some of the numbers:

  • In 2006, the amount of digital information created and copied worldwide was equal to 161 billion gigabytes, or 161 exabytes. In layman’s terms, that figure is roughly equivalent to three million times the information in all the books ever written – or the equivalent of 12 stacks of books, each extending more than 93 million miles from the earth to the sun.
  • In 2006, if divided evenly across the global population — currently 6.6 billion (6,579,247,264) people — approximately 24 gigabytes of digital information was created per person.
  • In 2010 alone, the amount of digital information created and copied worldwide will rise six fold to 988 exabytes . The unprecedented nature of this growth is symbolized by the fact that the word “exabyte” doesn’t exist in any word processing program’s spell checker.
  • The book and gigabyte analogies above will jump in 2010 to approximately 150 gigabytes per person and approximately 75 stacks of books to the sun.
  • By 2010, nearly 70% of digital information will be created by individuals; however, organizations will be responsible for the security, privacy, reliability, and compliance of at least 85% of the digital universe.

Gosh, could this mean we need to buy some more storage? Joking aside, the numbers are staggering. I’d like to know more about how IDC gathered this information.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • MrClean07
    I would like to have your permission to use the section "Here's a taste of some of the numbers" in a newsletter that I send to my distributors. If you agree, to whom do I give credit in my newsletter? My objective is to make people aware of the capacity of the media used ane to sum total of what is being collected. Don Blackburn, Sales Director Bow Industries, Inc. (508) 877-2887
    95 pointsBadges:
  • Cathygagne
    Hi Don, This data is from IDC, so we can't allow you to cut and paste from our site. You can do one of two things: Point to this post in your newsletter citing that it originated from's blog, or contact IDC for permission to use their report data. Sincerely, The Storage Editorial Team
    10 pointsBadges:

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