When we recently started offering unlimited data storage as part of IT in a Box, some cities asked us how this was possible. After all, data must reside somewhere and take up finite space. How can it make sense from a business standpoint to offer unlimited storage?
In this post, we’ll take you through various historical factors that have helped data storage evolve along with some reasons why there is an increased business need for unlimited data storage. As you will see, we are at a point in the evolution of information technology where cities no longer have to worry about limited (and expensive) data storage space.
Moore’s (and Kryder’s) Law. At the heart of understanding why unlimited data storage space is possible, you must understand the basic premise of Moore’s and Kryder’s Laws. Moore’s Law famously says that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit (the kind used in your computers) doubles in performance every 18 months, and Kryder’s Law applies a similar law toward disk storage density. Just like with circuit technology, we’ve also seen data storage capacity increase exponentially. This technological evolution also lowers the cost of data storage. It’s why when you buy a new computer, tablet, or smartphone, it seems to store more data while costing you less than a machine you bought a few years ago.
High-speed Internet. Until recently, the limitations of high-speed Internet affected how much data you could use and access. But with high-speed Internet becoming more ubiquitous even in rural areas, you can quickly access more data than ever. Smartphone and tablet technology has all but caught up too, with people accessing their email, Internet, and rich media while on the go. As high speed Internet access improves, the need for data storage grows as people need places to store their files, documents, and content.
Consumer-driven competition. While businesses obviously use more resources than individuals, early innovations in consumer-driven applications have often led to businesses also taking advantage of those innovations. For example, Gmail shocked everyone when it came out, offering 1 GB of storage for users when they were accustomed to only a few MB from other free email providers. As people began to take more photos and videos with phones, they needed places to store and back up that data, driving the creation of services ranging from Dropbox to Carbonite. Those competitive wars have helped increase data storage capability and reduce its costs.
Rich media now a must, not a nice to have. The expectations for rich media – video, audio, animation, presentations, etc. – have grown as the Internet becomes more sophisticated. As services such as YouTube grew over the past five years, businesses started to understand the power of using rich media to differentiate their content from competitors. To use rich media, you need storage space. Today, the appetite for rich media continues to grow – along with the storage space to match.
Cloud computing. The scale of cloud computing – with thousands of servers spread across many geographically dispersed data centers – has brought down the cost of data storage. Onsite hardware (with limited data storage space) is much harder to maintain and will be more expensive. It’s more cost effective to store your data in the cloud, and technology innovation keeps increasing cloud data storage capacity and reducing the cost. As a result, storing your data in the cloud becomes a no-brainer when cloud vendors can offer you the best quality and lowest cost when they operate on such a large scale.
Obviously, one last thing that makes unlimited data storage possible is knowing the human limits of how much data is actually needed. Most cities, even those with lots of videos or documents, will not come close to creating an abnormal amount of data. Whether it’s for data storage or backup, we’re now at a point where a typical city that has a need for growth and doesn’t want to worry about storage limits can comfortably store all of the data they want without any worries. Only very large cities with highly unusual data storage needs might require special customization.
If you’d like to talk more about unlimited data storage, please contact us.
Original Date: 7/12/2013