Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cloud Computing -- Bad for Seagate & Other Traditional Hard Drive Storage Providers, Right? You Couldn't Be More Wrong!

Cloud computing -- that's where it's all going (all data). Our video solutions at Sorenson Media -- much like an accelerating number of service providers -- are hosted in the Cloud. This is nothing new and is not blog-worthy.

Lost by most in these discussions, however, is the impact of Cloud computing on traditional storage providers like Seagate. Most believe that the Cloud spells doom for Seagate and other traditional providers of hard drives and storage solutions. But, this couldn't be further from the truth -- it is just the opposite. Seagate - a massive player in the "traditional" storage space -- is foaming at the mouth over what the Cloud means to them -- that is, massive dependency on its storage solutions that the Cloud depends upon to store all of your data. (For Seagate's own perspective on the Cloud's impact on its business, click here). And, the pace of data generation is beyond exponential -- it is other-worldly.

I started thinking about all of this the other day when someone told me that there will be 40 exabytes of new information generated this year alone worldwide -- more than in the previous 5,000 years of human existence. This blew my mind. Good for Seagate and others? Unbelievably good. (By the way, in case you didn't know -- shocking, I know! -- an exabyte (EB) is 1 quintillion bytes, 1 billion gigabytes or 1 million terabytes. YIKES!

But, that person who quoted me those interesting factoids was wrong -- wrong in the right direction for Seagate! Rather than 40 EB of new information generated this year, analyst firm IDC estimates that 4X that amount (i.e., 161 EB) of new data was created in 2006 (that is, 4 years ago)! According to the IDC authors, that is "3 million times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written."

And, our friends at Cisco -- in a June 2009 report -- forecast that annual IP traffic will reach 2/3 of a zettabyte (ZB) by 2013. For all you sports-fans out there, that is 667 EB of traffic to you! Cisco further forecasts that Internet video will generate more than 18 EB of data each month by 2013!

Why all the exclamation marks in this post? Because these numbers are mind-boggling (to me at least).

And, they are great not only for Cisco and Seagate, they are great for those in the Internet video eco-system (including my company).

Hey, my little post right here is one small step for EB-kind!