I remember the time, it was about 15 years ago, that in my department we bought 9GB of storage. That was an amazing amount of storage and people from other departments came to see the pile of mag discs able to store that “huge” amount.
Yesterday I stumbled onto an ads from OWC for their new line of SSD storage, arriving at 40TB (see the photo) in a small box. At 27,000$ it is not cheap (although they offer a version based on mag disc at 3,500$).
The increase in capacity is amazing and if someone would have told me that desktop storage would have reached 40TB I would have not believed her. And, possibly, my objection would have been more on the user side than on the technology side: “who on Earth would ever need TBs of storage?!”
Fact is, the demand for storage has increased even more! YouTube is receiving some 500h of video uploads every minute. Do your math and you get over 5,000 TB of storage needed every day!
Just 20 years ago only few companies had/required 10GB of storage to run their business. Today many, many, companies need tens of TBs to run their business. Already in 2013 Gartner was urging companies to plan for Infinite Data Centre and in October 2016 they offered a webinar on “Managing Infinite Data from Every Direction”.
However, my capability of consuming and digesting data has not increased at the same pace, and the gap is widening every single day.
This is way some new form of abstraction are needed, data analytics is a first attempt to make sense of the data flood but something radically new should come to bridge the gat between our capability to understand and the volume of things that could be understood.
By the way, talking about storage. Over ten years ago I forecasted that our cell phones will have 1TB of storage by the end of this decade. I was wrong. 1TB micro SD card for your Android phone is available now, for 200$.