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What about tablets? There were 74 million mobile-connected tablets at the end of 2014, a 1.6 fold increase over the previous year, and a tablet consumes 2.5 times more traffic than a smartphone. And how about the latest wearable craze? Who knows how much data that will ultimately add to the mix?
Cisco predicts that monthly global mobile traffic will surpass 24.3 EB by 2019, that smartphones will reach 75 percent of mobile data traffic by 2019, that monthly mobile tablet traffic will exceed 2 EB by 2018, and that tablets will account for 10 percent of total mobile traffic by 2017. Further, it says three quarters of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2019.
“As more and more businesses capitalize on the social and mobile phenomenon, the enormity of the digital universe grows,” said Jeremy Burton, president, products and marketing, EMC. “While the potential is massive, the implications are daunting.”
To drive home the point some more and boggle a few more minds, let’s bring IoT into the equation. IDC currently estimates that 14 billion IoT devices and sensors connected to the internet globally eat up only 2 percent of the digital world. Yet there are 200 billion potential IoT connection points already in existence.
“By 2020, the number of IoT connected devices will grow to 32 billion, representing 10 percent of the digital universe,” said Turner.
That may well turn out to be an underestimate. Some are already talking about a trillion sensor networks within 10 years.
Clearly, this represents a massive challenge for storage vendors. It’s something like a jet fighter challenging a Toyota Corolla to a race across the country. With each passing mile, the jet gets further and further away. Storage innovation, then, is going to have to come up with new ways to store more data more densely and transmit data more rapidly. Fortunately, developments are taking place on many fronts as no one technology or breakthrough is going to resolve this challenge.
Some that promise to at least alleviate the problem are already hitting the market. The next few years will likely see major breakthroughs in HDD, flash-based solid state drives (SSD) and tape which will greatly increase capacity, density and throughput. All of this is required to face the growing storage shortfall.
“It is going to mean using HDDs, flash and tape in many different ways if storage is going to keep up,” said Greg Schulz, an analyst with StorageIO Group. “We will also need far more efficient storage management and software-defined architectures.”
Over the coming weeks, we will highlight the advances in disk, flash, tape and storage management that aim to keep pace with this growing demand and prevent Stor-mageddon.
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