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Bits: The Data Explosion Makes Storage Tech Exciting

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Data storage has never exactly been a topic that lights up a conversation, unlike, say Twitter flame wars or even the business application programming interfaces for enterprise manufacturing management software written by the German software giant SAP.

But that could finally be changing. Pure Technology, a Silicon Valley company, has created a storage “box” that looks a bit like a refrigerator and can store the equivalent of billions of books. It is one of a number of storage innovations to come out of the tech industry in recent years that are designed to deal with an explosion of data generated by websites, smartphones and sensors on everything from roadways to appliances.

IBM estimates that by 2020 all those devices will generate 44 zettabytes of data. That’s a thousandfold number up from exabytes. All the world’s one billion cellphones throw out 18 exabytes a month, by some estimates.

That is equal to about 1,100 of Pure’s new boxes, which hold 16 petabytes of data, roughly equal to 16 billion thick books.

In other words — a lot. It is a staggering opportunity for the company that can help big customers store and make sense of all that data.

And that, most people would agree, is not the least bit boring.

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