If you think there’s a lot of demand for data storage now, you better brace yourself. According to projections pulled together by CenturyLink, we’re in for a deluge of big data. By 2015, CenturyLink says that we’ll see a four-fold increase in data being created and replicated.

This year, CenturyLink projects that 1.8 zettabytes of data will be created. By 2015, the projection is 7.9 zettabytes. That’s the equivalent of 18 million times the digital assets stored by the Library of Congress today.

The biggest contributor to all this data is video, which is expected to be 50% of consumer Internet traffic by the end of 2012. Most of that traffic is coming from North America and Europe today, but don’t expect that to last. And by 2015, it’s expected that the bulk of that traffic will come from wireless devices.

The funny thing about data creation is that users aren’t even aware of a lot of the data they produce. Much of it is considered “shadow data,” like search history and other logging your online activity produces. Every time you visit a Web page, download a file or check your Web mail there’s data generated that you never see. Users create, on average, 322GB of data through direct activity and 335GB of data of shadow data.

All of that data has to go somewhere, and even though the cost per GB has dropped (until recently) to one-sixth of what it was in 2005, the capital expenditures for handling data has grown by 50% in the same time.

Naturally, enterprises hold most of the data, whether it’s created by consumers or by knowledge workers on company time. That’s a lot of responsibility for managing data: What’s your company’s data strategy to handle the incoming deluge of data?

This infographic was created by CenturyLink, which sponsors the ReadWriteEnterprise channel.

sean ammirati