How Much Information? 2010 Report on Enterprise Server Information (PDF)
We define "enterprise server information" as the flows of data processed by servers as inputs plus the flows delivered by servers as outputs. A single chunk of information, such as an email message, may flow through multiple servers and be counted multiple times. Two-thirds of the world's total of 9.57 zettabytes was processed by low-end, "Entry-level" servers costing $25,000 or less. The remaining third was processed by "Midrange" and "High-end" servers, those costing more than $25,000. Transaction processing workloads – issuing an invoice, paying a bill, checking a stock level – amounted to approximately 44% of all the bytes processed. Web services and office applications contributed the other 56%. Servers configured as virtual machines processed about half of all the bytes in Web services and office applications.
We also conducted a separate analysis of improvements in server performance and capital cost. Midrange servers processing Web services and business application workloads doubled their performance per dollar in 1.5 years. Raw performance for this server class doubled approximately every 2 years. High-end servers processing transaction workloads had the longest doubling times: both performance/cost and raw server performance doubled approximately every 4 years.
This report covers how much information was processed by the installed base of computer servers in companies worldwide in 2008. It complements an earlier report on information consumption, which estimated 3.6 zettabytes of information was consumed by American households in 2008. Later reports will cover storage systems and enterprise networks.