In 2006, 161 exabytes of digital information were created and copied, continuing an unprecedented period of information growth. This digital universe equals approximately three mln times the information in all the books ever written ? or the equivalent of 12 stacks of books, each extending more than 93 mln miles from the earth to the sun. According to IDC, the amount of information created and copied in 2010 will surge more than six fold to 988 exabytes, a compound annual growth rate of 57%. While nearly 70% of the digital universe will be generated by individuals by 2010, most of this content will be touched by an organization along the way ? on a network, in a data center, at a hosting site, at a telephone or Internet switch, or in a backup system. The number of images captured on consumer digital still cameras in 2006 exceeded 150 bln worldwide, while the number of images captured on cell phones hit almost 100 bln. IDC is forecasting the capture of more than 500 bln images by 2010.