It is sometimes hard to grasp just how much digital data as a planet we generate each day. From small contactless coffee purchases at a Starbucks to hours of CCTV footage; the digital footprint is growing rapidly and almost exponentially. In 2012, a study by IBM estimated that 2.5 exabytes - that's 2.5 billion gigabytes (GB) - of data was generated every day. Jump forward just five years, and another study found that the data created on mobile devices alone had shot up to eight exabytes per day and is still growing.
For enterprises of all sizes, digital data has always been useful, but it is increasingly the most important fuel to power line of business activities. And for some, an entire business model is based on how quickly data can be collected, processed and turned into action.
Historically, data storage was hived off into a silo within the enterprise IT department. The big four wings of applications, servers, networking and storage were distinctly different skill sets, suppliers and driving goals. The storage team talked of SAN and NAS with a focus on adding continually more capacity and performance to meet the demands of new applications – while bemoaning the lack of faster network connectivity.
This paradigm still endures in a few places, but the last decade has seen enterprises become more agile in an effort to capitalise on the benefits offered by the internet and to stave off rivals as markets have opened through globalisation.
Kirk Ryan is a senior cloud solutions architect who regularly provides consultation for successful adoption of cloud first strategy and cloud architectures. Kirk is experienced in AWS and Azure design methodologies, serverless technologies, IoT systems, analytics and machine learning, web and mobile development (Node.js, React, React-Native, GraphQL) as well as over 14 years of data management and solutions integration experience. He is the leader of the UK Cloud meetup, and a frequent speaker at events and executive briefings