How Heavy Is A Petabyte?
It’s sometimes hard to visualise just how much disk technology has advanced in the last 30 years. There is an excellent graphic on the Gizmodo website which successfully portrays: “How Large is a Petabyte?” leading Mark Coleran (Gridiron Flow fame) to ask “How much does a Petabyte weigh?”
Here is my take on just how heavy 1 Petabyte of disk drives was in 1980 and is today. (Disks only, not taking into account server chassis, racks, power and airco units to support it! UPDATE: also all information, the weights, garnered via internet search and wikipedia ..)
The answer from 1980:
And the answer today:
I guess this will be a living blog post given that drives are increasing in capacity every two seconds! With the 3TB internal drive hitting the streets I have put together another image (quick and dirty apparently!):
UPDATE 2 - 4TBs are here.
The View from OM
Disk efficiency, capacity and usability has all increased enormously in the last 3 decades making it more and more feasible to protect/archive content on disk long term. When companies like EMC currently have over 2000 clients storing over 1 Petabyte of content it makes you think that 1 Petabyte is not that large an amount after all.
p.s Used purely marketing figures in the calculations (1kb == 1000bytes) .. obviously using real, tech numbers (1024) we would be looking at more disks. I look forward to the day we can all talk in 1024.