We have heard about how the digital transformation is dramatically changing how we communicate, collaborate, and do everyday tasks. What we didn’t comprehend is the incredible impact digital transformation has in driving significant gains in data created, which impacts our quality of life, and efficiency.
The digital transformation is being driven by the proliferation of smart objects. Projected to increase from 5 billion objects at the end of 2015 to around 25 billion objects by 2020 according to Gartner 2014. Cisco predicts twice that number by 2020. The smart objects include our smartphones, sensors in machines, airplanes, cars, smart meters, cloud connections, computers, servers, etc., to name a few. The amount of data being produced by these smart objects and others is staggering. The estimated amount of data created daily is not in the trillions of bytes but rather measures in exabyte. An estimated 2 exabyte is created each and every day. In comparison, as recently as 2000, a total of 3 exabytes of data was produced in the entire year! 5 exabytes is estimated to be equal to all of the spoken words in the history of mankind! To understand how big 1 exabyte is, think 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of data. That is a 1 with 18 zeros. So where is all of this data going to?
Let’s examine Facebook founded in 2004, and now the 3rd busiest site on the internet. There are over 1 billion users connected to Facebook. Facebook stores more than 500 billion photos, with users uploading 700 million new photos every single day. Facebook has it’s big data storage center that deploys 14 petabytes of storage gear every month. In 2011, Facebook built a 62,000 square foot data center on its Prineville campus to house 500 racks that each hold 2 petabytes of data, for a total of 1 exabyte of storage. Facebook users besides adding hundreds of millions of new photos every day, also add video clips. Facebook supports the platform services for more than 1 million web sites and thousands of applications using the Facebook Connect platform. Facebook now has four gigantic data centers with two more sites under construction as of September 2016, and leases additional server space from data center providers in several locations in and outside of the US. Keeping up with the proliferation of data created is a race to barely stay ahead of the data created and the millions of new users added each day. And Facebook is just one of the sites on the internet.