Data storage: 30+ interesting facts & figures

The way data is stored is something that every business should be concerned with because it is critical to the security of a business. Would you leave your important documents lying around in an insecure environment?

Below are a few facts and figures about data storage that a business owner should know in order to make better informed decisions when it comes to their data.


Statistics about data storage for businesses

  1. 47% of enterprises cite data growth as one of their top three challenges.

  2. Managing storage growth is the dominant pain point for 79% of IT professionals.

  3. Data storage requirements are growing at 40% per year.

  4. More storage is now allocated in virtualized than traditional environments, with enterprises moving from on-premise non-virtualized to consolidated virtualized environments. (EMC)

  5. The world’s data will grow by 50x in the next decade.

  6. Internet of Things (IoT) devices will generate the lion's share of new data in the coming years. As of 2015, a total of 15.41 billion devices were connected to the internet. Thanks to new wireless technologies and other IoT-related advancements that number will balloon to 75 billion devices by 2025. That represents an increase of 487%.


According to a recent survey by Forrester Research

  1. 40% of enterprises said they plan to spend more on storage hardware in the coming year.

  2. Another 46% say their spending on storage will be level.

  3. Forrester also estimates that storage capacity requirements are growing at a rate of between 15% and 25% per year.

  4. IT departments will have to manage 50 times the amount of information, 75 times the number of files and 10 times the number of virtual and physical servers, with only 1.5 times the number of IT professionals to manage it all, by 2020.

  5. A quarter of decision makers surveyed predict that data volumes in their companies will rise by more than 60% by the end of 2024.

  6. The United States ranks highest in the world for the amount of data stored, totaling around 3500 petabytes.

  7. Europe ranks second, with 2000 petabytes of stored data.


Industries and the amount of data they each store

  1. Education: 269 petabytes

  2. Retail: 364 petabytes

  3. Healthcare: 434 petabytes

  4. Banking: 619 petabytes

  5. Communications/media: 715 petabytes

  6. Government: 848 petabytes

  7. Manufacturing: 966 petabytes


How do businesses use their data?

  1. Retail-based businesses use databases to track information for marketing and sales campaigns.

  2. The healthcare industry often stores patient records and other personal health information.

  3. Manufacturers use data to evaluate and continuously improve their processes.

  4. Data backup and disaster recovery systems are vital to keep business-critical data safe and secure.


There are four types of data storage


Direct Attached Storage (DAS)

DAS is directly attached to a single computer, and generally is not accessible to other computers.


Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve data from a centralized disk capacity.

  • Plugs right into existing network switches or hubs.

  • Runs traditional LAN protocols (typically TCP/IP over Ethernet).

  • Supports common file-sharing protocols like NFS for Unix and SMB and CIFS for Windows.


Storage Area Network (SAN)

A SAN is a set of interconnected drives and servers that acts as a centralized pool of disk storage. These systems are known for:

  • Being a little easier to manage than other storage options.

  • Highest possible levels of availability.

  • Good capacity utilization.


Cloud storage

Cloud storage is computing resources (hardware and software) that are delivered as a service over a network (typically the Internet).

  1. 38% of public cloud storage users keep inactive data in the cloud.

  2. If given the choice of only being able to move one application to the cloud, 25% of respondents would choose storage.

  3. By 2021, 95% of global data center traffic will be from the cloud.

  4. 94% of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service and 87% of organizations are using public cloud.


Cloud computing benefits

  1. Allows companies to avoid upfront infrastructure costs, and focus on projects that differentiate their businesses instead of infrastructure.

  2. Allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance.

  3. Enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.