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How Much Global Data Is Produced and Where Is It Stored?

The sheer amount of global data produced every day is mind-boggling. At the current pace, the world creates one quintillion bytes of data each day. The rate of data accumulation is accelerating with the growth of AI, ML, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. The last couple of years alone have contributed to most of that global data accumulation. Every time you turn to your search engines for answers, you add to the data stockpile. It is hard to wrap your mind around the colossal amounts of data generated daily. This article by Melvin M. Vopson at The Conversation shares intriguing facts about the sheer amount of data the world produces globally and where it is stored.

Global Data Transformation and Advancements

The last half-century has seen unprecedented technological advances. These include the internet, wireless technologies, artificial intelligence, display technologies, mobile communications, transportation, biology, space exploration, and medicine.

Amount Of Global Data Produced

Today’s world is immersed in digital information in virtually all aspects of our lives and society, creating unstoppable growth in the production of information. The globe generates 500 million tweets, 294 billion emails, and 4 million gigabytes of Facebook data in a single day. Additionally, 65 billion messages are sent via WhatsApp and 720,000 hours of new content is added to YouTube.

Data consumption worldwide reached 33 zettabytes (ZB) in 2018. It is a significant increase from the 59 ZB in 2020 and a prediction of 175 ZB by 2025.

Where Do They Store All the Data?

Most digital information is stored on three types of devices. They are endpoints, the edge, and cloud servers. The global network of endpoints includes the internet of things devices, PCs, smartphones, and other storage devices. The edge consists of infrastructure locations such as cell towers, government servers, banks, factories, and universities. Lastly, most data is stored in the core, on servers, or in a cloud-based data center.

Nearly three-quarters of the world’s hyper-scale data centers have over 5,000 servers. Japan, China, the UK, Australia, and Germany account for about 30% of the data. The two most prominent data centers in the world are found in China and the United States. The China Telecom Data Center in Hohhot, China, occupies 10.7 million square feet. The Citadel in Tahoe Reno, Nevada, covers over 7.2 million square feet and uses 815 megawatts of power.

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