Today, handling lots of data in the world of modern IT is a big challenge. The growth of data, fueled by the sprawling networks of cloud services and enterprise applications, seems to be getting a bit out of control. While we have tools like data lakes and warehouses to manage this overflow, the reality is that we are living in a world of data bloat.
Data bloat is a real issue and it is only getting bigger. With Large Language Models (LLMs) like those powering generative Artificial Intelligence, the situation is likely to escalate further. More and more data is piling up because of videos, online games and strict data rules. This is a problem for datacenters. They need a lot of space and energy, and people are worried that they might not keep up with all the extra data.
Cohesity, a data protection and recovery vendor, suggests that it might be time for a “data diet.” The International Bureau of Weights and Measures even proposes new units for data – ronnabytes and quettabytes, each with an astronomical number of zeros. To put it in perspective, storing a quettabyte on smartphones would require devices stretching a mind-boggling 93 million miles, roughly the distance from Earth to the sun. This data explosion is a result of global data volumes skyrocketing from under two zettabytes in 2010 to almost 104 zettabytes in 2022.
Mark Molyneux, CTO for EMEA at Cohesity, suggests a data diet as a cheeky term for enterprises to rethink how they handle data. He suggests using new ways to sort out important data from less important stuff, using AI techniques. This helps organizations handle data better, so they don’t have to take extreme measures when things with data get worse.
Data sprawl, although not yet severely impacting the environment, has seen a considerable increase in data volumes in datacenters. However, the energy consumption has remained relatively stable, thanks to efficiency gains and the rise of more modern hyperscale datacenters. Cohesity warns that datacenters may produce 496 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2030, surpassing France’s total emissions in 2021.