Can Nature Help Us Solve an Impending Data Storage Crisis?

Can Nature Help Us Solve an Impending Data Storage Crisis?

Will the cold storage data center of the future include a DNA synthesizer? According to a new research paper by the University of Washington and Microsoft, it’s a strong possibility.

Today, we generate data faster than we can increase storage capacity. The volume of digital data worldwide is projected to exceed 16 zettabytes sometime next year, the paper’s authors wrote, citing a forecast by IDC Research. “Alarmingly, the exponential [data] growth rate easily exceeds our ability to store it, even when accounting for forecast improvements in storage technologies,” they said.

A big portion of the world’s data sits in archival storage, where the densest medium currently is tape, offering maximum density of about 10 GB per cubic millimeter. One research project has demonstrated an optical disk technology that’s 10 times denser than tape.

But there’s another approach that promises storage density of 1 Exabyte per cubic millimeter, or eight orders of magnitude higher than tape. That approach is encoding data the same way nature encodes instructions for building every living thing on Earth: DNA.

Read Also:
When Big Data Isn’t Enough – You Need Fast Data!

In addition to density, DNA storage addresses another big limitation of archival storage: longevity. Tape can hold data for 10 to 30 years before data integrity starts to corrode, and spinning disks are rated for three to five years. DNA’s observed half-life is more than 500 years in harsh environments, according to the paper.

The idea to store data in the form of synthetic DNA has been around for a long time, but the huge improvements in cost and efficiency of synthesizing and sequencing genes in recent years have made its feasibility a lot more probable. Its state of the art went from a 23-character message in 1999 to a 739 kB message in 2013.

 



Sentiment Analysis Symposium

27
Jun
2017
Sentiment Analysis Symposium

15% off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
Is big data a sound investment?

Data Analytics and Behavioural Science Applied to Retail and Consumer Markets

28
Jun
2017
Data Analytics and Behavioural Science Applied to Retail and Consumer Markets

15% off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
A Cost-Effective Hadoop Cluster for Big Data Environments
Read Also:
A Crucial Partner in Digital Transformation

AI, Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance

28
Jun
2017
AI, Machine Learning and Sentiment Analysis Applied to Finance

15% off with code 7WDATA

Read Also:
A Crucial Partner in Digital Transformation

Real Business Intelligence

11
Jul
2017
Real Business Intelligence

25% off with code RBIYM01

Read Also:
R and Python drive SQL Server 2017 into machine learning

Advanced Analytics Forum

20
Sep
2017
Advanced Analytics Forum

15% off with code Discount15

Read Also:
The Impact of Big Data and Analytics on Manufacturing Companies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *