You know what’s really cool? An Exabyte.

You know what’s really cool? An Exabyte.

One of the more interesting (and challenging) parts of working in the cloud storage sector is the sheer volume of data that organizations are attempting to manage.  From the first RAMAC in the late 50’s to contemporary 4TB spindles there has been outrageous growth at both the individual drive level and aggregate counts across your organizations. Just a few short years ago it was uncommon for all but the most data intensive companies and government services to exceed more than 1PB of capacity under management. Today – that is about 1 chassis of capacity in the most dense of configurations. This week alone I spoke with 6 organizations that each have +100 Petabytes of capacity under management with a YoY growth rate approaching 50%. Back of the napkin – that means in roughly 24 business quarters these very well run organizations will each roughly have an Exabyte under management.

Where is the data growth and volume coming from?

Unstructured content — Files, Blobs, Rich Media and Consumer Generated (digital images).

In a rough approximation – across the organizations I saw this week the split looks something like this –


Unstructured tiers have eclipsed the combined quantity of DB, Messaging and Backup.

This offers an amazing opportunity for you to control costs and decouple the administrative burden from the growth curve.

Cloud based platforms (on and off-premise) are purposefully designed for these data scales and offers a cost model better suited for unstructured content. When evaluating platforms or applications that benefit from the approach focus in on 4 key themes : Meta Data, Multi-Tenancy,  Metering and Mult-Site. If your application stack passes through these screens you should be evaluating cloud storage based architectures (and business models) to help you on the path to an Exabyte under management.

One Response

  1. Dead-on! No question that 50% growth rates (and that may be low) aren’t sustainable in most current models. Also, historical props for the RAMAC reference!

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