A recent study conducted by IDC estimates that the global volume of digital data increased by 62% between 2008 and 2009 to approximately 800,000 petabytes (PB).
The report also noted that the rapidly expanding "Digital Universe" is expected to grow to 1.2 million PB, or 1.2 zettabytes (ZB) in 2010 and reach 35 ZB by 2020.
However, there appears to be a worrying gap between the rising amount of digital data and available storage.
"The IDC study estimates that in 2009, if every byte of digital data created were to be stored, there would be a 35% shortfall in available storage. By 2020, IDC estimates the gap will grow to more than 60%," reported Todd Erickson of SearchStorage.
"Of the 35 ZB of data expected by 2020, nearly 75% will be copies of original data, which represents an opportunity for cost reductions using advanced data services such as compression and data deduplication."
In addition, the study predicted that corporations and individuals are likely to require up to 25 quintillion (25,000,000,000,000,000,000) "information containers" to "hold" the Digital Universe data by 2020.
Finally, the IDC report noted that cloud computing is poised to become an "integral part" of the digital universe - with more than 34% of total global digital data expected to be stored or secured by cloud services in 2020.