Meeting the Lumabyte

“In the next 12 months there will be a zettabyte of information on the Internet.” – Dr. James Baty, VP and chief technology officer (CTO) of Sun Microsystems.

A zettabyte is the equivalent of 1 billion terabytes. Just a few years ago, it cost my clients millions of dollars to buy and implement a terabyte of data storage. The disk drives could fill a room. You can now buy a terabyte of data storage for $100 and the single drive is about the size of a typical hard cover book.

How much has the world changed? We have five terabytes of data storage on our overland expedition vehicle.

What’s driving the explosion in online data? In large part, social networking such as MySpace and Facebook.

  • Facebook users have uploaded more than 15 billion photos to date, making it the biggest photo-sharing site on the web.
  • For each uploaded photo, Facebook generates and stores four images of different sizes, which translates into a total of 60 billion images and 1.5 petabytes of storage.
  • Facebook adds 220 million new photos per week or roughly 25 terabytes of additional storage.

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