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So your 32GB iPhone just told you you’re out of storage space.  Now you have to figure out what to delete or what to move and store somewhere else.  You may not have anticipated this particular pain in the neck because after all, you were smart and didn’t buy the phone with the fewest gigabytes, right?    

Oh, well… it could be worse.  The whole internet could be facing the same “out of space” error message.

Well, guess what. It is.  

It’s true. The 4.3 billion IP addresses allowed by IPv4 are officially running out. For all you non-techies out there, an IP address is used by each “computer” – from your PC to your PlayStation 4 – to identify itself so that it can connect and communicate with others.

IPv4 is the fourth version of this system of addresses. Back in 1981 when the infrastructure was created, 4.3 billion seemed like enough, or at least a lot.  Now with so many users connecting so many devices, the pool available addresses is quickly drying up. Don’t panic: IPv6 (the latest IP version) offers 340 undecillion addresses (each atom on Earth could be given one) – but like your iPhone plight, it’s no fun to move stuff over and it can be very expensive.

On top of this, the actual amount of digital information out there is expected to grow to over 16 zettabytes by next year. What does that much data look like? It’s roughly equivalent to 4 trillion DVDs. And all of that information has to live somewhere. Although we talk a lot about ‘the cloud’, every piece of information on the web: every YouTube video, every Instagram picture or Tumblr account, every email; is ultimately housed in a real, physical location. The cloud just means that someone else, somewhere else is storing these bits and bytes for you and giving you access to them.

Let’s face it, Captain: we’re gonna need a bigger boat…

However, there is hope for your Facebook account and your new smart watch. It’s a proven encoding and storage system that’s been around for a long, long time.  

…Or a smaller one…

DNA – that double helix framework so familiar from science classrooms everywhere – holds an incredible amount of information in a teensy, weensy amount of space. Every living thing is made up of cells, and each human cell contains DNA woven into genomes in its tiny nucleus. We’re talking about the entire set of all the information needed to build a human being; and it all takes up only a fraction of a single cell.  

So what if you wanted more? What if you started collecting up data encoded on DNA and cramming it into tiny liquid “droplets”- each of which is about the size of a grain of sand, but contains about one exabyte of information. That’s approximately 250 billion copies of the latest Justin Bieber song on iTunes. How’d you like them a(A)pples?

Okay, great, but storing data in DNA is just theory, right?  

No.  Not only can it be done, it HAS been done already.

In 2012, George Church, Ph.D. led a team of Harvard scientists to encode 70 billion copies of their book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves in DNA into this nucleotide format.

If we take that 16 zettabytes of digital information floating around today and use the most recent technology to squeeze it all down into DNA, the whole thing would in theory weigh about 35 grams.

And, as Church pointed out, you don’t have about your stored data droplet evaporating. DNA is incredibly durable:  “You can drop it wherever you want, in the desert or your backyard, and it will be there 400,000 years later.”  That’s a lot better than the durability of my old VHS copy of “Terminator 2.”

exabyte-data-infographic

Technology is amazing, and evolving every day. What about your business? Are you keeping up?  Do you store, access, and manage data in a nimble, digital fashion, or is that room filled with banker boxes of old paperwork reaching its capacity?

Before you think, “Well, the kind of paper we create simply can’t be done in a digital fashion,” you may want to look at 5i Solutions Inc.  

5i Solutions brings your business cutting edge technology for document imaging & processing that turns paper into digital ‘smart data.’  You can even use that familiar pen and paper form and have the information instantly uploaded to your system. Plus, we have document management solutions that rein in wasted search times and put every document—indeed every piece of every document—right at your fingertips.  And all of it securely stored via 5i’s data hosting and Cloud Vault technology so you never need to worry about space or security.  

Information keeps getting bigger.  Storage solutions keep getting smaller.  And 5i Solutions can help you take advantage of the best of both of these worlds to ensure your business keeps getting better and better.  All of this available 24/7, from anywhere.

Innovative Ideas for Intelligent Interaction with Information.  

5i Solutions.  One single, secure point of intake, access, and storage.  One singular solution.

5i Solutions, Inc.

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