Sometimes, when someone doesn’t understand a story, we say, “I guess you had to be there.” That’s very true for HP Discover. It is only after coming to the conference and being physically present here that the sheer magnitude—both of the event and of the information available to attendees—hits me. Just think about it: 9000 attendees, 208 demos, and 21,367 attendees signed up to 397 sessions. Makes me wonder how large this blob of information could be? Is it a gigabyte? Or, a terabyte? A petabyte? An exabyte? A zettabyte? A yottabyte? Or, a brontobyte?
If I think about all the sessions I attended including track and demo theater sessions; and I include the real-time conversations, such as my interactions with fellow bloggers in the Blogger Lounge, meeting partners at their respective booths, and meeting with customers and prospects over lunch and dinner; I have to admit: it is a brontobyte of information one could get from HP Discover.
Well, for several decades now, we have been used to the term megabyte (~1,000,000 bytes). In the last few years, as we started needing more and more space for music files and photographs, we ventured into the gigabyte territory (~1,000,000,000 bytes). Then enterprises started to accumulate huge data stores, which ran into terabytes of data (~1,000,000,000,000 bytes). Along with this massive data explosion we must include unstructured data—generated from social networking and other channels. So today, we are now in the petabyte territory (~1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).
Given the trend, it behooves us to extrapolate this sustained growth of data within the next few years and come up with names in advance, similar to weather systems in the United States (Sandy, for example). Thus, prefixes have already been defined for what is to come. Behold:
- Exabyte ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000
- Zettabyte ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
- Yottabyte ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
- Brontobyte ~1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Calculators would need new buttons with multiple 000's!
So, that is what a Brontobyte is. And, as I’ve said before: HP Discover makes me feel like there is a brontobyte of information to be gained.
We humans are capable of gleaning meaningful information from our individual interactions, video watching, podcast listening, blog reading and twitter chatting, and don’t forget reading newspapers, books and magazines. But imagine having to deal with this volume of data at an enterprise level, collected over years. Now imagine having to extract information from it.
Hold on. You don't have to imagine. This is reality. This is where we are today.
To maintain their competitive edge, enterprises need to be able to readily process massive volumes of data to get a Return on Information, using the right combination of tools that can extract meaningful information with context, as well as rapidly analyze ridiculously high volumes of data.
So, what is the next term in line after Brontobyte? How much information have you obtained from the HP Discover conference? How do you plan on applying this information? Please let me know.