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Data Storage Metrics Compared to Real Objects (INFOGRAPHIC)

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The amount of data stored on the Internet today has reached astronomical numbers. From Bytes to Petabytes to Exabytes – online data storage continues to rocket. What’s really in a byte? It’s hard to imagine what a terabyte of storage really equates to. If you took the average number of bytes per Flickr photo and converted it to a metric of area, how much space would all the photos on Flickr fill?  We’ve done some simple math and added in some fun analogies to illustrate how much data we’re really talking about.

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<a href="http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/files/">
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#1

The amount of daily tweets equates to 9 GIGABYTES. If a byte were a square millimeter, tweets would fill up the Grand Canyon in one day!

Assuming 65 million tweets a day, each tweet were 140 characters and each character were a byte.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

#2

Flickr is storing about 23 PETABYTES worth of photos. That’s over 6 million digital cameras (with a 4MB memory card)!

Assuming 5 billion photos on Flickr and each photo were 5MB in size.

Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flickr

#3

Facebook is estimated to have close to 60 PETABYTES worth of photos by the end of 2011. If a byte were 10 gallons, Facebook would fill up the Gulf of Mexico by end of this year!

Assuming 60 billion photos on Facebook today with 6 billion added each month and each Facebook photo were 500KB in size

Sources:

http://www.pixable.com/blog/2011/02/14/facebook-photo-trends-infographic/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Mexico

#4

The amount of videos uploaded to YouTube daily is about 10 TERABYTES of data – that’s over 400 single layer Blue Ray Discs!

Assuming every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube and the average video is 4 minutes in length and 20MB in size.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc

#5

The human brain can hold 1 to 10 TERABYTES of memory. If the average human brain held 5 Terabytes, that would be 32 Play Stations!

Assuming 160GB PlayStation 3s.

Sources:

http://www.sizes.com/people/brain.htm

#6

The amount of text messages sent from US Subscribers per month equals to about 22 TERABYTES of data. If the average piece of US postal mail were 1KB, text messages doubles the amount of US postal mail sent monthly!

Assuming text messages are 160 characters and each character were a byte. Sources:

http://www.ctia.org/consumer_info/service/index.cfm/AID/10323

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postal_Service

#7

The amount of data humankind has stored to date is 295 EXABYTES. That’s 30 x the number of insects on Earth today!

Assuming each insect were a byte of data.

Sources:

http://www.macworld.com/article/157908/2011/02/295eb.html?lsrc=rss_main

http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/bugnos.htm

#8

The American household’s daily consumption of data is 3.6 ZETTABYTES – that’s 10 Billion Cloud Servers!

Assuming 10GB Cloud Servers.

Sources:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/the-american-diet-34-gigabytes-a-day/

http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/servers/pricing/

#9

The amount of daily downloaded apps is about 425 TERABYTES – that’s double the size of The Library of Congress’ Web Archive.

Assuming each app is 14.85MB in size and there are 30 million apps downloaded per day.

Sources:

http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/01/more-than-60-apps-downloaded-per-ios-device.php

http://blog.jeffhaynie.us/itunes-iphone-and-ipad-application-economics.html

http://www.loc.gov/webarchiving/faq.html

#10

There a septillion number of snow crystals that fall on Earth each year.  That’s a  YOTTABYTE and no system built to handle that much data – yet.

Assuming each snow crystal equals a byte of data.

Source:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16759121/ns/technology_and_science-science/

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Angela Bartels.

Angela runs integrated marketing campaigns for Rackspace. She started at Rackspace in 2003 and has done everything from Linux support, account management, sales, product marketing and now lives in marketing. She left Rackspace in 2005 to work for PEER 1 Hosting but returned in 2009 because she was interested in the cloud computing movement (and has always been a Racker at heart). Angela is a strong believer in the power of storytelling.


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