Technology is constantly improving. The vinyl record was replaced by the cassette tape, the cassette tape was replaced by the compact disc, the compact disc was replaced by the iPod, and eventually, the iPod will be replaced by something with more features, and even more file storage. This constant improvement is what makes the file storage industry a multi-billion dollar market – technology is always evolving, and as technology evolves, data increases.

Let’s stop and think for a moment about how much data we use in our day to day lives…

For most people it’s almost unquantifiable: digital cameras, games consoles, laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPods, blu-rays, and more. All of these possessions from our personal lives store data.

And, what about the data we store in the cloud?

The current capacity of cloud storage is actually unknown, but it is increasing all the time and is rumoured to be close to, if not exceeding, one exabyte. For some perspective, the amount of data in an exabyte is equal in length to 6,900 trips to the moon!

That’s a lot of data. But, it’s nothing compared to how much data we will generate, use, and store in the future.

As we’re in the business of Digital Asset Management software file storage is an important aspect of our product and service, we want to know more about what the future holds. So we had a quick peek and discovered that hard drives will take on a liquid form, cassette tapes will be making a significant comeback, and we will even begin storing data on DNA.

Take a look at the future of file storage yourself with our new infographic below:


The future of file storage infographic



The Future of File Storage – a multi-billion dollar market

Data appears to be multiplying by the second, and with it, storage. In this infographic we will take a trip down memory lane to see just how far file storage has come, and more importantly, how much it will expand in the future.


Personal computing

1989 – Macintosh Portable – 8MB

1999 – SD Memory Card – 2GB

2005 – X-Box 360′ – 20GB

2006 – Dell Inspiron – 160GB

Corporate Computing

1971 – Floppy Disk – 80KB

1981 – IBM 5150 PC – 40KB of built-in ROM & 16KB of RAM

1995 – iMac G3. – 4GB to 60GB & 128MB of RAM

2007 – Seagate introduces the largest hard drive to date. The Barracuda 7200.10 can store 750GB


1901 – Vinyl Record – 150MB

1965 – Cassette Tape – 300MB

1982 – Compact Disc – 700MB

2001 – 1st Gen iPod – 5GB


1971 – VHS – 12GB

1995 – DVD – 30GB

2006 – Blue-Ray Disc 128GB


The more advanced our file storage systems become, the more data we use.

Images of file storage systems throughout the years, with the following descriptions:

iPod Classic – 120GB

‘Next Generation’ MacBook Pro – 256GB

Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD Hard Drive – 6TB


The Cloud

The exact capacity of Cloud Storage is unknown. However, it is rumored to be close to, if not exceeding, one EXABYTE!

For some perspective, the amount of data in 1 Exabyte is equal in length to 6,900 trips to the moon!

It is predicted that the global market for cloud equipment will reach $79.1 billion by 2018 with equipment including servers, storage, networking hardware, and high-speed links.

Currently there are three different cloud services.

1. Infrastructure as a Service – users can run any application via the cloud. A favorite with businesses as existing applications can be moved from in-house servers to the cloud to reduce costs.
2. Software as a Service – vendors now offer software solutions hosted in the cloud, allowing users to access them from any computer and reducing the need to install local copies.
3. Platform as a Service – Users can develop their own applications and run, develop, and maintain them from the cloud.

The future will bring the development of the InterCloud in which all three services can be accessed within one place and with one provider.


The future’s answer to USB Flash Drives, DataSTICKIES, will be wafer thin and constructed from a single layer of a ground-breaking new material known as graphene.

The file storage drive will look like a sticky-note in appearance, and will have the capacity to hold up to 32GB.

Data will be transferred from the drive through an optical data transfer surface added to computer monitors.

Cassette Tapes

Yes, that’s right. Cassette tapes will be making their comeback in the near future.

These new cassette tapes have been developed to utilize magnetic tape that can hold 148GB per inch, making them perfect for long-term, industrial-sized data.

A single tape will have the capacity to hold 185TB…

…that’s approximately 3,700x more data than a Blu-ray disc!

Liquid Hard Drives

One terabyte of data in a tablespoon of liquid – This is what we can expect in the future with the release of wet information storage systems.

Liquid Hard Drives will consist of microscopic particles suspended in liquid.

By heating the liquid up and cooling it down, the particles can be manipulated to store and read data.

The particles will rearrange with algorithms similar to those used to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

DNA Data

The potential for DNA data storage has been known for quite some time, but the question has always been – HOW?

With recent scientific breakthroughs, it has been discovered that data files can be converted into binary code, and then into A, T, G, and C code which stands for the four DNA bases.

From this, blueprints are drawn for the DNA, and then the actual strands are created, and the data can be added.

Just 1 gram of DNA can hold 455 exabytes – that’s enough room for all of the data held by Google and Facebook, with plenty of space to spare! And that’s just one gram!

The average amount of data that can be stored in the human body is estimated at around 150 Zettabytes!

Data stored on DNA can be kept intact for hundreds of thousands of years.

Closing Thoughts

With all of these incredible developments set to revolutionize file storage, the future looks exciting for consumers and businesses alike. It’s really no wonder that this is fast becoming a multi-billion dollar industry.


Byte Table

Byte = 8 Bits = 1 Byte

KB = 1 Kilobyte = 1000 Bytes

MB = 1 Megabyte = 1000 Kilobytes or 1,000,000 Bytes

GB = 1 Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes or 1,000,000,000 Bytes

TB = 1 Terabyte = 1000 Gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000 Bytes

PB = 1 Petabyte = 1000 Terabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes

EB=  1 Exabyte = 1000 Petabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes

ZB = 1 Zettabyte = 1000 Exabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes.

YB = 1 Yottabyte = 1000 Zettabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes

BB = 1 Brontobye = 1000 Yottabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bytes



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