Think Today’s Data Is Big? Wait 10 Years

At what point does data make the leap to big data? There’s no internationally sanctioned demarcation, of course, and it would appear that the rapid growth of unstructured data, particularly video, has the imaginary boundary on the move.

According to Chris Gladwin, founder and vice chairman of the object storage vendor Cleversafe, storage requirements have soared dramatically over the past decade, but that’s just the start. Emerging technologies such as 4K video and cloud services will make today’s big data storage needs seem laughably small by 2024.

Today, a petabyte of data — 1,024 terabytes, to be exact — probably meets many people’s definition of “big data.” The storage manufacturer Aberdeen, for example, sells a one-petabyte storage rack, aptly named the Petarack, for a cool $375,000.

Fast-forward 10 years, however, and a petabyte no longer will qualify as big — at least not in the enterprise. “You think of it as a pretty big system today, but in 10 years, you won’t even be able to buy systems that small,” Gladwin told InformationWeek. “Today, a petabyte is half a cabinet, but you go out 10 years, and that’s like part of a server. It won’t even qualify as an enterprise-scale system.”

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