Researcher IDC, EMC Total Up the 'Digital Universe'

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-05-18 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

For the third year, researcher IDC and storage infrastructure provider EMC have attempted to quantify all things digital: that is, to find and account for all the digital data in the world, no matter where it resides. This study includes everything: e-mail, instant messages, voice recordings, documents, photos, video, graphics, data logs, TiVO recordings, business transaction data -- everything. EMC and IDC claim to have accounted for it all; at least this is what they tell eWEEK.

In a report released May 18 that ostensibly takes roll of everything digital-up to and including the calendar year ending at midnight, Dec. 31, 2008-IDC and EMC estimate the so-called digital universe to be 487 billion gigabytes in size, give or take a few bytes.

Apparently to get a head start on next year's universal digital roundup, EMC, one of the world's major data storage companies, is keeping track in public of all the new bytes coming into the world. Check out this Web page, which includes a rather fast-moving "Worldwide Information Growth Ticket."

For the third straight year, researcher IDC and EMC have attempted to quantify all things digital-that is, to find and account for all the digital data in the world, wherever it resides.

This study includes everything: e-mail, instant messages, voice recordings, telephone answering machines, plain old documents, photos, video, graphics, data logs, TiVO recordings, business transaction data-everything. EMC and IDC claim to have accounted for it all; at least this is what they tell eWEEK.

There are obvious commercial reasons for spending the time, money and effort to try to come up with such an accounting. EMC certainly wants to sell you storage capacity, data security and control over all your data so you can master your own part of that ever-growing digital universe; rocket science it is not.

On the other side, IDC wants to get its arms around how much data it is researching- along with the trends involved-so it can resell all this information. Both are perfectly reasonable motivations.

But the real questions are these: How accurate is it all? Do we look at this story and shrug, roll our eyes or what? How does this affect you and me, if at all?

"You have to realize that we [IDC] cover the IT from a very broad perspective," Dave Reinsel, group vice president of storage and semiconductors at IDC, told eWEEK.

"We have all this data we can leverage, whether it's from digital surveillance cameras, digital TVs, servers, storage ... we cover pictures, megapixels, resolution, everything. So why not try to get a handle on it all?"



 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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