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Lady Backup may be showing her American roots here, but I can’t find a British alternative expression to “sneakernet…”

Not all of my UK colleagues know what this means, so simply put “sneakernet” refers to moving your electronic data around by foot aka “your sneakers” – or trainers as it were in the UK.

Regardless of what you call it, there is a lot of data being physically moved around.  I think we all generally know this is true, but we set out to quantify exactly how much data is being moved by commuters during an average commute.  As a result, we commissioned a 3rd party survey of 4,000 people among the UK (greater London), the US (New York and San Francisco), France (greater Paris) and Germany (Berlin and Munich).

So how big is the amount of data moved around by commuters each day?  We found that globally 2,500 times more data is moved physically by commuters to and from work each day than is sent over the Internet in the same timeframe.   In the UK specifically, 569 times more data is moved by commuters than is sent over the Internet in the same timeframe.  During a daily commute in London, 1.2 Exabyte of data moves in and out of the city with commuters.

Let’s put an Exabyte into perspective.  It took EMC 15 years in our company history to ship our first Exabyte of data storage capacity, according to our Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci.   Now, commuters in London physically move that of data in a day.

On your own commute, how many different storage devices do you carry (external hard drive, USB sticks), not to mention your laptop, tablets, smart phone?  And how much of the data that you are physically carrying is only stored on that device? Have you thought how exposed your organization would be if you lost your briefcase or your satchel were stolen?

This is a very real problem.  In our survey we found globally 40% of commuters have lost a device over the past year –34% in the UK.  You probably don’t have to think too hard to image the personal and professional devastation that you could suffer as a consequence of not having a copy of your devices somewhere.

Whether you wear trainers on your commute or not… your individual data devices need a data protection strategy.  So before you jump in the car, catch a train, or hop on the tube to get to work… make sure your devices are protected.  LB



Lady Backup’s career in IT dates back before the time of the Spice Girls.
Initially I started in high tech journalism in the US and eventually transitioned to become an industry analyst. My analyst years also coincided with my education – during this period of my life I was working on my MBA.
After 7 years of going to school at night, I graduated with distinction with an Information Age MBA degree from Bentley University (at the time it was still Bentley College) located just outside of Boston. With degree in hand, what’s a restless girl to do next? This is where networking with fellow classmates led to a job at EMC. Starting out at Hopkinton headquarters, I moved outside of the US with EMC International when I felt it was time for my next change.
Today, Lady Backup is an American on the loose in the world. Living outside the United States has been a fascinating experience. For the moment I call England home. But I’m feeling my next wave of restlessness coming. Here are two hints: I love sunshine and I’m improving my Spanish.

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