The future of data storage in the information society.

Publicado el 31/01/2021.

what I am seeing?

(translated with google translate so expect bugs)


Summarizing is a graph where I explain the evolution of the manufacture of hard drives, ssd memories, cd's every year. In this case I am not analyzing the total number of units sold of each type, I already did that in my books and articles like PEAK MEMORY 2. CHIP WARS. This time we are going to analyze the megabytes, the gigabytes that are manufactured in total, which is where the world information society saves year after year the photos, databases, songs, social networks, administration, etc. The graph thus summarizing you can see that the evolution is not spectacular, it rises little by little, and from my point of view it will go hand in hand with the available energy, in 2019 the PEAK of oil is official, and from my point of view the PEAK MEMORY, or PEAK DATA has arrived in 2021, but I make 3 projections, one optimistic that peaks for 2024, and the other two that follow Antonio Turiel's oil predictions more immediately, although my 3 predictions follow the available energy at Unlike the predictions of the experts that are the 3 lines that are seen that think that the capacity will increase magically and exponentially and that the maximum is not expected, and thus they have been predicting again and again and being wrong again and again. The predictions and repercussions of this graph are tremendous, to begin with the reality is that each year until 2020 we had a little more storage manufactured than the previous year, just a little, not at all, something that grows exponentially and that also in 2020 has Already signs of exhaustion and PEAK MEMORY reaching the limits and, on the other hand, if my predictions are true, we are going to start having problems storing things right now and in the coming years, which will cause prices to rise until our society loses much of its ability to have archived files, starting with individuals but that will affect governments and companies, provided that the oil decreases at the predicted rate and our ability to obtain and manipulate resources.


Analyzing a little more deeply.


We are going to analyze the graph that I have made with the help of Alex Lopez and Fernando Rodriguez who have given me a hand with it, turning a draft into a digital napkin in this very cool scheme.


On the left we have from 0 to 4000 exabytes manufactured each year around the world, it includes all types of storage, CDs, magnetic tapes, hard drives, and SSD drives. That is, how many bits were manufactured to be written from the year 2000 to 2020, RED LINE. From there each line represents different projections from experts and companies dedicated to predicting the future and 3 possible predictions of mine.


What is an exabyte?


We're going to talk about hundreds or thousands of exabytes, so let's put it in context. (approximate so that they are base 10 numbers easy to see, it really is always a little more but I did not want to put 82345234523)


1 Zettabyte = 1000 Exabytes

1000 Exabytes = 1000000 PetaBytes

1000 Exabytes = 1000000000 TeraBytes

1000 Exabytes = 1000000000000 GigaBytes

1000 Exabytes = 1000000000000000 Megabytes


When you look at your 8 Terabyte hard drive now you will look at it differently.


As I was counting in my books, I calculated that approximately 1060 exabytes were manufactured in 2019, other authors say a little more, 1200. It can be seen that in the last 20 years the total capacity manufactured year after year has not grown exponentially, but has done little by little, in a rather linear way, even with a bit of laziness considering that the total capacity of each manufactured unit has grown much faster year after year.


How can this be?


Well, simple, although storage units are manufactured with more and more capacity, the total number of units manufactured, as I indicate in my books does not stop falling and we have long reached the PEAK SALES of units manufactured for almost all types of technology of storage. Hard drives for example reached their PEAL SALES in 2010. For more information on other storage media are in my books and blog.

If you look at the graph in the columns, the world production of barrels year by year and from 2020 the predictions of Antonio Turiel.


On the other hand, there are 6 predictions, 3 made by experts and analysts such as IDC that explain how the market will be in the future, and 3 mine, one optimistic, one that follows the evolution of the price of oil and another that considers that less oil the Manufacturing capacity and demand fall exponentially.


The 3 professional predictions were made, the first in 2012 (ORANGE), the second in 2018 IDC (GREEN) and the third in 2020 Coughlin Asociates (lilac). 


You can see how each of these predictions does not take into account the amount of available energy at all and all without exception predict exponential growth that time and time again fail in their prediction. I imagine these predictions look great at shareholders' meetings and for investors.


My 3 predictions however and as I anticipated before, have as a ceiling the amount of energy available over time. That is to say, I do not see it feasible that with less and less oil the factories can manufacture more things and with more capacity.

With what there is a first prediction that the PEAK MEMORY considers between 2023 and 2024. This is the most conservative, and although it has nothing to do with the fantasies of the experts, it seems to me too optimistic but at least it takes into account that we are arriving to PEAK MEMORY.


My second prediction is linear and simply follows the amount of energy available and accompanies the oil on the decline.


And the third, which is the most groundbreaking, but which is also the one I like the most, is the one that begins a rapid descent into technological hells, since I consider that energy reductions to manufacture things do not affect everything in a linear way, because according to its complexity, the energy required and the CIVILIZATION COST, makes it decline much faster than the energy available.


Summing up, on the one hand there is the fantasy that over and over again the unlimited storage experts invoke, which as you can see collides with reality, because no matter how hard they try, total storage has not grown exponentially since ... ever. On the other hand, there is a man from Alicante called Felix Moreno who says that the future of the information society will be in pencil and paper again and that we will have no choice but to de-digitize the reality that we like so much about zeros and ones well together.

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