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Me & My Digital Shadow

More bad news for CIOs and IT managers. For the first time, the "Digital Shadow," the amount of information generated about people, has surpassed the amount of information they actually produce themselves.

With the recent explosion in social networks, video surveillance, digital TV, and digital cameras, the "digital universe" is now exploding, according to an EMC-sponsored study by analyst firm IDC.

The research shows that this mass of data is larger and growing more rapidly than originally thought. At 281 Exabytes (281 billion Gbytes), the digital universe in 2007 was 10 percent bigger than initially estimated.

The report highlights fast-growing parts of the digital universe, including Internet access in emerging countries, data centers supporting cloud computing, and social networks.

EMC, like other storage vendors, must be rubbing its hands together in anticipation of a bumper payday as peoples' digital shadows cast -- well, a longer and longer shadow. Either way, it's clear we are reaching a new stage in our ability to produce mind-boggling quantities of data. That observation leads to the thought that maybe now really is the time for users to dive into storage virtualization, data de-duplication, and thin provisioning, if they haven't already.

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