Demand for Data Storage Continues to Grow
From the beginning of human history until 1999, approximately 12 exabytes (an exabyte is equivalent to 1 billion gigabytes, or the entire collection of the Library of Congress multiplied by 50,000) of information were produced. That number had doubled by 2002, according to a study conducted by students and faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. Due to the sheer amount of information being generated at such a rapid rate, the need for effectual data storage solutions is greater than ever.
In order to meet that demand, the overall capacity of disk storage systems—or sets of storage elements, including controllers, cables and host bus adapters, associated with three or more disks—grew substantially year-over-year (that is, compared with the same business quarter in the preceding year) by a figure of 41.2 percent in the second quarter of 2004, a recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly Disk Storage Systems Tracker showed. In the second quarter of 2004 alone, some 275 petabytes (one petabyte equals 1 million gigabytes) of information were shipped, an amount exceeding all the printed material in the world.
The disc storage industry posted significant financial gains as well. Worldwide revenues increased by 8 percent year-over-year for factories that manufacture external disk storage systems, to a total of approximately $3.5 billion in the second quarter of 2004. In addition, the total disk storage systems market grew 5 percent year-over-year to slightly more than $5 billion, which marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue increase. IDC experts specifically cited considerable growth in data storage in Asia, though they also pointed out that U.S. firms still dominate the market with a 35 percent share. The leading producers of disk storage systems are Hewlett-Packard, EMC, IBM and Sun Microsystems.
Because of its constantly escalating nature, data storage in all probability will continue to be a top issue in IT for the foreseeable future. IT professionals interested in this ever-burgeoning discipline should consider certification offerings from Sun, Cisco, EMC and the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to further their career opportunities.
For more information, see http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=pr2004_09_02_113626.