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A Yottabyte of Storage Per Year by 2013 246

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the more-bits-please dept.
Lucas123 writes "David Roberson, general manager of Hewlett-Packard's StorageWorks division, predicts that by 2013 the storage industry will be shipping a yottabyte (a billion gigabytes) of storage capacity annually. Roberson made the comment in conjunction with HP introducing a new rack system that clusters together four blade servers and three storage arrays with 820TB of capacity. Many vendors are moving toward this kind of platform, including IBM, with its recent acquisition of Israeli startup XIV, according to Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Peters."
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A Yottabyte of Storage Per Year by 2013

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) * on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:25AM (#23323632) Homepage
    Impressed, you will be.
  • by WheresMyDingo (659258) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:25AM (#23323634)
    When I can say "I have a lotta yottabytes"
  • by nuzak (959558) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:27AM (#23323652) Journal
    Under the new regime, wouldn't that be a "Yobibyte" or something similarly idiotic?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by somersault (912633)
      There's no way Yobi could kick Yotta's ass.
    • by Ed Avis (5917)
      No, 'cos they really do mean yottabyte, 1_000_000_000_000_000_000_000_000 bytes (according to Wikipedia). It would be as silly to use powers of two for annual storage sales by HP as to use powers of two to measure Russian oil exports or the population of China.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      Under the new regime, wouldn't that be a "Yobibyte" or something similarly idiotic?

      If it's idiotic you want then it's idiotic you get. "My computer storage has Yobibitybobityboodidybytes."

      What's infinity divided by zero?
    • by Muad'Dave (255648)
      Yobibyte, by Yobi the Bear - "Hey, hey! That's a lotta bytes, Boo-Boo."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:29AM (#23323680)
    A yotta byte is 10^24 which is a trillion terra bytes
    or 10^12 * 10^12

    I thought geeks hung out here......

  • A billion Gigabytes? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hansraj (458504) * on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:30AM (#23323690)
    umm.. wouldn't that be one zettabyte? If I am not off then one yottabyte would be a billion terabyte

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yotta [wikipedia.org]
    • my conversions are long scale (followed in Germany among other countries). Check the table for short scale conversions that is followed in the US. Either way the summary is wrong.
    • umm.. wouldn't that be one zettabyte? If I am not off then one yottabyte would be a billion terabyte

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yotta [wikipedia.org]

      Yeah. If it were merely a billion gigabytes, and we assume (not unreasonably) that the average drive is 1 terabyte 5 years from now, then the summary implies that only a million drives will sell in 2013, which would be terrible. Hmm, it's equally hard to imagine a billion such drives shipping, so maybe I'm missing something.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Siener (139990)

      umm.. wouldn't that be one zettabyte? If I am not off then one yottabyte would be a billion terabyte

      FAIL all around

      A billion gigabytes would be an exabyte. A billion terrabytes would be zettabyte. A trillion terabytes or a quadrillion gigabytes would be a yottabyte.

      Wikipedia to the rescue [wikipedia.org]
    • by PhuCknuT (1703)
      No actually a billion gigs is an exabyte. A billion terabytes would be a zettabyte.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drodal (1285636)
      No, a billion giga bytes is an exa byte 10^9 * 10^9 = 10^18 so a billion terabytes is 10^9 * 10^12 = 10^21 = zeta byte
    • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:01AM (#23324020)
      Remember, guys, "Billion" means two different things depending on which part of the world you're in, so make sure you're not getting into a debate between an american and a brit who are both probably right and wrong at the same time.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Links supplied for those Brits and us Yanks who don't realise that we speak different languages, almost as different as redneck [uncyclopedia.org] is from ebonics. [uncyclopedia.org]

        Remember, guys, "Billion" [wikipedia.org] means two different things [Seven if you believe the ebonic rednecks at wikipedia]depending on which part of the world you're in, so make sure you're not getting into a debate between an american [uncyclopedia.org] and a brit [uncyclopedia.org] who are both probably right [uncyclopedia.org] and wrong [uncyclopedia.org] at the same time.
      • by diamondsw (685967)
        The long scale [wikipedia.org] is dead. Deal with it.

        In 1974 the government of the UK abandoned the long scale, so that the UK now applies the short scale interpretation exclusively in mass media and official usage.

      • by Kijori (897770) <ward...jake@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @12:08PM (#23324936)

        Remember, guys, "Billion" means two different things depending on which part of the world you're in, so make sure you're not getting into a debate between an american and a brit who are both probably right and wrong at the same time.
        "Billion" pretty much exclusively means 1,000,000,000 over here in Britain these days. I've never encountered anyone who uses it to mean 1,000,000,000,000, and style guides require the short scale. The closest I've seen to a long scale usage is newspapers still using "thousand million" to avoid ambiguity. Anyone using the term "billion" to refer to a million million in Britain now is almost certain to be misunderstood.
        • by neokushan (932374)
          I've heard plenty of people use the term "billion" to mean "Million million".

          I know, it's ambiguous and most people accept it as being a thousand million, but it's always worth keeping it in mind when people are arguing about what a billion of something is.
          • by Kijori (897770)

            I've heard plenty of people use the term "billion" to mean "Million million".
            Wow - who? Just old people or younger people too? What part of the country are you in?

            I've never even found an old person who still uses billion to mean "million million" - it's been standard to use it as 1,000,000,000 for thirty odd years so I would have thought the old meaning would be very nearly dead!
            • by neokushan (932374)
              Well if it's nearly dead, why is it still listed on Wikipedia as a legitimate use for the term "Billion"? If it's nearly dead, why does it still cause confusion today?
              It's like how we officially use the metric system to adhere to EU law, yet we still go down the pub for a pint, dealers still sell ounces and most people drive in miles, not kilometres.
      • Actually, us Brits mostly use the short billion (10^9) nowadays. We've been "officially" using the short scale for longer than I've been alive.
    • I saw that too; since the article is actually correct and says a yottabyte is one thousand zettabytes, either Lucas or Taco screwed up this one.

      Messing up prefixes like this on a tech site is just embarrassing. If I wanted to see drastic mis-estimations of orders of magnitudes, I'd read PCWorld.
  • Yottabytes (Score:3, Funny)

    by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:31AM (#23323696) Journal
    Yow! That's a lotta bytes!!!!
  • I believe a "yottabyte" is 1 billion petabytes, not gigabytes.
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:38AM (#23323772) Homepage

      I believe a "yottabyte" is 1 billion petabytes, not gigabytes.

      God, that hurts my head. I remember being at a university seminar in '91 or so, and one of the presenters was talking about petabytes.

      At the time, it drew blank expressions and he had to explain that it was the one after terabytes (since that was an abstraction to most people).

      I often find myself awed by just how much you can buy nowadays cheaply. I'm told that at Costco nowadays, you can buy a terabye of disk storage for about $250 CDN -- that's utterly mind-boggling to someone who remembers single-density, single-sided floppy drives.

      Crazy stuff.

      Cheers
      • by Tanktalus (794810)

        Yes. I bought a 1TB "drive" (it's actually two drives in a RAID configuration) with an ARM processor running Linux from CostCo, and connect to it via samba and nfs, all for $320. They're now selling a 2TB unit for about $430.

        I've also ordered a new machine with a 1TB drive from a nearby small computer store - that one is about $340 for a single SATA drive.

        I still remember spending $1800 for my first 1.2GB drive that was SCSI-based ... back in 1993.

      • I often find myself awed by just how much you can buy nowadays cheaply. I'm told that at Costco nowadays, you can buy a terabye of disk storage for about $250 CDN -- that's utterly mind-boggling to someone who remembers single-density, single-sided floppy drives.

        I know what you mean. My first computer, back in the late 80's, had a "HUGE" 40MB hard drive. (Yes, MEGAbytes, not GIGAbytes for you youngsters out there.) I have a 1GB SD card sitting on my desk right now. That's more than 25 times the space of

      • A floppy drive? You had it easy. In my day we had to use write our ones and zeros on a giant blackboard and programmed directly in electricity. [geekz.co.uk]
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by gstoddart (321705)

          A floppy drive? You had it easy. In my day we had to use write our ones and zeros on a giant blackboard and programmed directly in electricity. [geekz.co.uk]

          Luxury!!

          Why, I once got my tie caught in the gears of the difference engine [wikipedia.org], and had to stay there until we hit the last digit of the calculation -- I was there for days. ;-)

          Cheers
  • Yottabyte? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Well, here is one compelling reason to stop developing ever larger and larger storage - silly names.

    And at the other end of the spectrum you have the nybble.
  • How much exactly does that mean?

    - 10^9 * 10^9 bytes
    - 2^30 * 2^30 bytes
    - 10^9 * 2^30 bytes
    - 10^12 * 2^30 bytes (non-american billions)
    - ...

    You never know, these days
  • I wouldn't be too surprised if we hit 10TB arrays next year, so this kind of progression seems like it's possible. Data's cheap nowadays!

    • by vidarh (309115)
      What do you mean "hit"? Unless you mean "we" as in your family or your employer we're well past that point already.

      There are a lot larger arrays than 10TB for sale. The company I order servers from at work delivers standard configurations up to 24TB, and the only reason they don't offer anything larger is that their customer base is mainly relatively small companies that wouldn't need it. IBM sells "off the shelf" systems that can scale to at least 512TB...

      Heck, I've got the space for more than 10TB wor

      • by MrCrassic (994046)
        I meant this from a consumer standpoint. It's extremely rare for one to find an individual with anything more than 10 TB, even at the file-sharing server level (though they do probably exist). Same thing as people having more than 8GB of RAM on their computers; they're out there, but not widespread yet.
        • Well, if you look at it this way, with current prices (from newegg, I'm sure it could be found cheaper elsewhere too) 10 TB of hard disk space is less than $2000 (14 750GB disks at $130/ea). I would say that "under $2k" is well within the reach of most consumers (albeit "enthusiasts"), so the future is now!
  • How long before I can get one of those on a pen-drive?

    I refuse to dump floppies until then.
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      I refuse to dump floppies until then.

      How high would a yottabyte stack of eight inch floppies reach? I don't even remember how much data an eight inch floppy held. I do remember a five inch one held 360k.

      Hell, lots of these kids don't remember when floppies were floppy on the outside as well as on the inside.
      • by Raineer (1002750)
        I think the 8" floppy was 160k (180?), last time I saw one of them was scarily recent since they are used in the IBM 3800 printer of which there are still a couple alive and breathing.
  • So confused (Score:5, Funny)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:44AM (#23323852)
    This new unit of data confuses me. I only think of data sizes in terms of Library of Congresses (LOCs), mass in terms of stones, and lengths in terms of horse hands. Now get off my lawn!
    • You'll need to upgrade that lawn to a football field so we can describe the new data size as "a football field of gigabyte hard drives".
  • Lottabyte (Score:2, Insightful)

    by davidwr (791652)
    I prefer the nebulous term "lottabyte."

    Lottabyte: An unspecific term meaning the amount of storage you think you need but know you can't afford.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Chyeld (713439)
      Not to be confused with the Lolitabyte, which is a unit of measure peculiar to 2chan style boards...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      Lottabyte: An unspecific term meaning the amount of storage you think you need but know you can't afford

      Or in the vernacular: Crapload

  • Shit (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ariastis (797888) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:45AM (#23323870)
    This means I have to find a whole lot more porn if I want to keep up...
  • New prefixes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CSMatt (1175471) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @10:52AM (#23323946)
    At this rate, we'll need to start defining new prefixes before 2020.
  • O.k. I've gotten one thing by glancing at the slashdot comments. No one really knows how much a yottabyte of storage will be!

    Can some one show me how many kilobytes are in yottabyte?

    Will this be unit of measure just for companies like Google or MS only or are we talking about yottabyte flash drives?
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      O.k. I've gotten one thing by glancing at the slashdot comments. No one really knows how much a yottabyte of storage will be!

      Can some one show me how many kilobytes are in yottabyte?

      Yottabyte [wikipedia.org]
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Interested in contributing to Wikipedia? Jump to: navigation, search
      Prefixes for bit and byte
      Decimal
      Value SI
      10001 k kilo
      10002 M mega
      10003 G giga
      10004 T tera
      10005 P peta
      10006 E exa
      10007 Z zetta
      10008 Y yotta
      Binary
      Value FOLDOC IEC
      10241 K kilo Ki kibi
      10242 M mega Mi meb

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) * on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:10AM (#23324108) Journal
    I emailed the "onduty editor" before the article went live on the error of their calc on what a yotta is. So much for slashdot error prevention...

    Anyway, I emailed them this link to the terms [techtarget.com] in question, and post it here, for your edification. I have a post-it note on my bookcase with these terms - I think that as time goes on, knowing EXACTLY what each one is will be of some use. Until the oil runs out and we are shivering in the cold, anyway...

    ;-)

    Here's their names, abreviations and their power of ten, so you know how big/small it is.

    yocto- y 10^-24
    zepto- z 10^-21
    atto- a 10^-18
    femto- f 10^-15
    pico- p 10^-12
    nano- n 10^-9
    micro- m 10^-6
    milli- m 10^-3
    centi- c 10^-2
    deci- d 10^-1
    (none) -- --
    deka- D 10^1
    hecto- H 10^2
    kilo- K 10^3
    mega- M 10^6
    giga- G 10^9
    tera- T 10^12
    peta- P 10^15
    exa- E 10^18
    zetta- Z 10^21
    yotta- Y 10^24

    RS

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by stoofa (524247)
      So...

      we now know a yottapede has A LOT of legs...

      but we're left wondering what a yoctopus would look like.
  • by kaos07 (1113443) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:14AM (#23324136)
    Considering the fact that I'm just a regular user who doesn't run a server or data centre or anything particular storage intensive (relatively speaking) and I bought a 1TB (1000GB) last year, I'm wondering whether this claim is as "WOW!" as it appears to be on the surface. Surely there's at least 1 million users (1 million x 1 thousand = 1 billion GB, or 1 yottabyte) who've bought a 1TB hard drive? Or even 10 million who've bought 100GB hard drives. And this is just home users mind you. There must be thousands, if not millions, of companies around the world with servers and data centres with plenty of gigabytes of storage being purchased every year.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      1 million x 1 thousand = 1 billion GB, or 1 yottabyte
      No, that's one exabyte = one millionth of a yottabyte. It's scary much if you ask me, as another poster replied it's 150TB/person on earth and even the most obscene HDTV-leeches I know tops out at 10-20TB. Where's the other 130-140TB? Maybe at some companies but definately not ours, maybe 100GB/person total and nevermind the poorer people that have no PC at all or certainly not terabytes of storage.
  • Bigger, Not Faster (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday May 07, 2008 @11:28AM (#23324304) Homepage Journal
    Server drives with high density need to be faster (seek and transfer times) to support more multiple users accessing different sequences of the disk's storage addresses in rapid interleaved succession.

    But personal drives don't need as high speeds for one person's use, especially when the high capacity is for large media content objects that are stored unfragmented. We don't need to spend the money on transfer speeds so much faster than our playback speeds that it's never used. Large builtin caches are useful for real random-access data in small chunks, like programs or numerical datasets, not media.

    Blu-Ray's max transfer speed is 54Mbps [wikipedia.org], though that's for recording - 48Mbps is max playback. 3x for buffering during FWD/REV scanning playback would be 144Mbps, 2.25MBps. Big drives currently recommended for personal use, like Seagate's 1TB Barracuda ES.2 [storagereview.com], get at least 53MBps transfer, over 23x as fast as the fastest it will ever really be asked to deliver. If it weren't so unnecessarily fast, maybe it would cost less, and an array of them for the same hundreds of dollars would hold more content.

    With 50GB Blu-Ray HD titles to store, getting more sets of 20 titles in each HD in a RAID is a lot more important than getting them faster than they can be played.
  • Here are a couple of sources on those prefixes which TFA seems to have confused. They agree with each other:
    SearchStorage Definitions [techtarget.com]
    Extreme prefixes [lewrockwell.com]

    This last one mentions even higher prefixes like vendeka (10^33).
  • Yoda-Byte. (Score:2, Funny)

    by jameskojiro (705701)
    Pre Fetch or Pre Fetch not... there is no Write.

    Flash is the path to the bad sector. Flash leads to wear. wear leads to damage. damage leads to lost data.

  • ...porn industry executives are confident that they can produce sufficient content to fill that capacity.
  • Thus far, I've had no need or desire to go above "exa" or below "atto". I hereby refuse to add a prefix as stupid-sounding as "yotta" to my vocabulary! If I ever have to describe quantities on that order of magnitude I'll use the good old "ONE E TWENTY FOUR".

  • when the industry as a whole ships 1 yottabyte, or 1,000 zettabytes of storage capacity.

    Now clearly people don't know the meaning of yottabyte, so we'll throw in a helpful conversion to zettabytes which will is a commonly unit that'll sort all that out. WTF? If they said "1 yottabyte or one million million terabytes there'd at least be hope.

    Anyway, either this article or wikipedia is wrong because the article on Yottabyte [wikipedia.org] says: "In fact, the combined space of all the computer hard drives in the world does not amount to even one zettabyte. According to one study, all the world's computers stor

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