Storage prices have dropped massively in recent years. Yet despite that, there’s a risk that we might actually run out of space for data. This is why.
Warehouse picture from Shutterstock
A recent IDC study commissioned by EMC examined the size of the “digital universe” — the amount of data that is being stored and used. The figure that jumped out at me wasn’t the sheer size, but the fact that creation of content is still growing faster than the volume of storage available:
The world’s amount of available storage capacity (i.e., unused bytes) across all media types is growing slower than the digital universe. In 2013, the available storage capacity could hold just 33% of the digital universe. By 2020, it will be able to store less than 15%.
That isn’t necessarily a problem, because not all of that data is permanent. Entertainment-focused content such as streaming TV or games doesn’t need to be saved long-term. But it’s worth remembering that storage demands are growing at stupid rates. “If you’re a business and you manage information, every two years you’ll have double the information you have today,” EMC Australia director of technology Matt Zwolenski told Lifehacker.