Congratulations, Seagate! The titan of data storage has done it again; this time in its debut of the first ever three terabyte external hard drive. I know that's a lot of geek speak. But, bear with me.
Folks, for a mere $250 (cables not included) you can store up to three terabytes of data in something smaller than your sock drawer.
A terabyte is a whole lot of information. Every book, every scrap of paper, everything in the Library of Congress adds up to an estimated 160 terabytes (TB, for short). Cisco once estimted that all the data passed around the entire Internet for the entire year of 2008 was about the same - 160 TB. Imagine storing every transaction of information from all web traffic in one year in 54 boxes.
My question is how many businesses actually need that much data storage. Companies that heavily work with video and graphics come to mind. Developing an animated movie, like Monsters Vs. Aliens, requires about 100 TB of storage while in production, if that offers you some frame of reference.
The real cost of data isn't the storage part, however. It's management; how to archive it, access it, protect it and effectively use it. More fundamentally, when do you say "when" when it comes to choosing what to save and what to chuck?