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Think ‘Big Data’ Is Big? Look at ‘Copy Data’

Christina Medici Scolaro
Big Data Download
Think ‘Big Data’ Is Big? Look at ‘Copy Data’

Big data is a tremendous market, but an even bigger market is “copy data”—the extra copies of existing information from various sources and applications, and in various formats. This year alone, the management of excess data cost companies $44 billion, according to new research released by IDC.

A survey of more than 700 IT managers found that companies often make up to 120 extra copies of individual pieces of data. An increased number of apps and more copies per app are causing an explosion in the market. It now takes more effort and resources to manage the copy data than the management of the production data itself.

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Last year, more than 60 percent of all enterprise disk capacity worldwide was filled with copy data. Eighty-five percent of hardware purchases and 65 percent of storage infrastructure software sales were spent on copy data management.

It is estimated that by 2016, spending on storage for copy data will approach $50 billion and copy data capacity will exceed 300 exabytes (3 million terabytes).

Laura DuBois, program vice president for IDC’s Storage Practice, said, “While maintaining copies of data is essential for maintaining service quality, at some point this maintenance goes from being an insurance policy to paranoia.”

Ash Ashutosh, CEO and co-founder of data storage company Actifio, said companies need to understand their copy data ratio and whether there’s an opportunity to reduce copy data. He also advises knowing which tools and apps create copy data in order to determine what is truly excessive.

The IDC research was sponsored by Actifio. Actifio is on track for an initial public offering at the end of 2013 or early 2014.