Economic downturn, downloads drove data growth in 2009: IDC

Non-traditional industries, virtualisation lead continuing data growth

The economic downturn caused an unexpected influx of data throughout 2009, according to IDC.

The analyst firm said the number of terabytes shipped in the Asia Pacific market increased by 25.6 percent in 2009 over the previous year.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also reported recently that Australians downloaded more than 135,000 terabytes of data during December 2009, an increase of 54,322 terabytes over December in 2008.

While IDC has attributed the data growth to a need during the economic downturn to "improve the bottom line," Gartner analyst Philip Sargeant said that technologies like virtualisation and the move to disk-based systems were key drivers too. The rise of non-traditional storage-heavy industries like bio-sciences and broadcasting was also a key factor in data growth over the past year.

Sargeant told Computerworld Australia that growth in storage capacity was tracking at a rate of "anywhere between 60 and 70 percent in capacity each year over the past five years." Gartner has predicted global data needs will grow by 650% in the next five years.

"A lot of people still have multiple copies of stuff, which exacerbates the need for storage," he said. "That's one of the reasons people are looking at deduplication."

Deduplication - the process of removing multiple copies of the same file - is still prevalent in the data protection, backup and recovery space, but is starting to become more widespread across other industries.

"It will become more ubiquitous, so the pace of dedepulication would probably increase over the next year or two," Sargeant said.

Though the implementation of deduplication processes and systems continues to grow, Gartner doesn't yet see it having any significant impact on data growth.

"We have had deduplication for a couple of years in the backup and recovery space, and the growth was still quite phenomenal last year so it didn't have a major impact then," he said. "Whether it will in fact have a major impact in the future, only time will tell."

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