According to latest Cisco reports, global internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 Exabytes (EB) per year.
Just to keep things in perspective:
1 EB = 1 000 000 terabytes = 1 000 000 000 gigabytes.
Looking a bit backwards, according to an estimation from Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, the total of human knowledge created from the dawn of man and digitized till 2003 totaled 5 Exabytes.
These two values are so far apart in scale, dimension and time, that the logical conclusion should be that our ability to create data completely overpasses our ability to digest it. At least, that was the general consensus on the matter. Until now.
Journalist James Bamford has confirmed in a recent Wired cover story older rumors that USA’s NSA is finalizing as we speak a massive surveillance center in Utah which will be able to store and process Yottabytes of data (the biggest data measurement unit yet). (1 million Exabytes = 1 Yottabyte).
In short, this is the big data that transpired about the Utah Data Center:
It will cost roughly $2 billion dollars and it will be finished sometime late 2013.
It will store, monitor and analyze virtually all communication channels (internet, mobile phones, etc).
It will be used to try and crack the AES encryption, the cryptographic standard considered unbreakable so far “in any amount of time relevant to mortals”.
This means you needn’t worry, the Jack Bauers of the online are hard at work in dealing with Big Data issues…