The availability of increasingly dense attached storage devices has
paved the way for exponential growth in digital content. In fact,
content volumes are expected to increase by more than 40 percent
each year over the course of the next decade. And according to
a study by IDC, by 2020, 15 percent of digital information could
be created in the cloud, delivered to the cloud, or stored and
manipulated in the cloud.9
The bottom line is that data is increasing at a furious rate, creating
significant storage challenges for data center managers. In the
enterprise, unstructured data is growing the fastest—data that is
highly variable and not easily managed without an understanding
of its content and context. Most of what used to be collected on
paper, film, DVDs, and CDs has now moved online in diverse formats—
for example, e-mail, instant messages, documents, spreadsheets,
images, and video. According to an IDC study in 2009, 95 percent
of the growth in digital information in the coming years will be from
unstructured data; the remaining 5 percent will be driven by traditional
structured data, such as financial or supply chain information.10
More efficient data storage has become an imperative for the next-
generation data center. Along with the need to manage increased
volume, data—much of it unstructured—must be readily accessible
for business, regulatory, and compliance needs. Traditional file
storage management systems such as NAS are proving to be too
costly and inefficient to cope with demand.
Digital Information in
Potential Available Share
5 ZB12 ZB35 ZBTotal Digital UniverseTouched by CloudCloud ServicesZB=zettabyte
Source: IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, May 2010.
9 The Digital Universe Decade—Are You Ready? IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, May 2010.
10 As the Economy Contracts, the Digital Universe Expands. IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, May 2009.