Tackle the world’s data overload

Every day, the information that we send and receive online – whether that’s checking emails or searching the internet – amounts to over 2.5 quintillion (25,000,000,000,000,000,000) bytes of data. This is the equivalent of 2,500,000 standard hard drives.

Mobile video traffic, a surge in 4G (fourth generation) connection and a rise in the number of people using smartphones – especially in developing countries, are among the many reason for an exponential growth of data flowing around the world.

According to networking corporation Cisco, 2012’s mobile data traffic was nearly 18 times the size of the entire global internet in 2000 and over half a billion (526 million) mobile devices and connections were added in 2013. Increasing levels of internet data caused by smarter technology and mounting connectivity is setting new challenges for ICT companies.

Because this mass of information is so hard to analyse, it’s not even clear what the bulk of it actually is; a study carried out by the International Data Corporation (IDC) found that less than 1% was analysed in 2012.

While interpreting this data might seem like the next big technological challenge, a more immediate opportunity is finding a way to make it all more manageable – archiving huge amounts of data within large organisations to make it more accessible. 

New technology on the market, for example Huawei’s OceanStor 9000, is already doing just this. The technology company has designed a 40 petabyte file system that enables businesses to search, access and analyse vast amounts of live data from a shared storage unit.

Such systems will no doubt be integral to accommodating an impending surge in data. Analysts predict that by the end this year, the number of internet-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth, and by 2018 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.