Much of the discussion around big data centres on how to maximise the analytic value of existing business data sources. But what happens when you actually have to get rid of that data?
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I'm attending the Navigating Big Data conference hosted by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) in Canberra today. Opening keynote speaker Parviz Peiravi from Intel raised the question of data destruction.
"How are you going to delete a zetabyte of data?" he asked. If you work in a sensitive industry such as government where data deletion requires multiple overwrites, that can be a very time-consuming process with current data volumes, he noted. It's also a fruitful area for potential future research.
The problem isn't likely to disappear, with data volumes continuing to increase. With zetabytes rapidly becoming the norm, we'll soon be in the yottabyte era. "It sounds like a Star Wars movie and I don't know what is after the yottabyte," Peiravi said.