Singing praises for the cloud

More than 1 exabyte of files are stored in the cloud today, as reported by Neowin news.

So what’s an exabyte? First, consider that the prefix exa means 1 billion billion. A good way to think of an exabyte is to think of it in terms of bytes. An exabyte is equal to 1 quintillion bytes. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes! One exabyte is equal to more than 1 billion gigabytes. To be precise, 1,073,741,824 gigabytes.

What if you had an iPod that could store an exabyte? Yeah, we know, that’s some kind of super iPod. It’s like the power of every superhero transformed into the world’s largest iPod EVER! But just for fun, let’s say you had a iPod with that much storage. What could you store?

Are you a music lover? In terms of CD-quality tunes, a superhero iPod with an exabyte of storage could hold 214,748,364,800 of your favorite songs! Come to think of it, with that many songs, they wouldn’t all be your favorites. In fact, we’re pretty sure you would hate some of those songs. We’re also thinking that there aren’t that many songs written. But just think about the possibilities. For example, you would have plenty of storage for songs of the future.

And speaking of tunes, remember the slogan Apple used when it released its first iPod, “1,000 songs in your pocket” back in 2001? That device took advantage of a 5 GB hard drive. A lot has changed since then. For example, today’s smartphones typically come equipped with 32 gigabytes of storage. That’s a lot of songs to carry in your pocket! Enough storage for your favorite, almost favorite, and not-so-favorite songs, including songs you hate! And plenty of other files.

As we witness all of the changes that technology brings, we never cease to be amazed by the amount of data associated with those changes. To be sure, there isn’t any pocketable device on which you can store 214,748,364,800 tunes. But one thing we know for sure: Files (such as all of those songs!) and other data still need to be backed up and protected. And that’s one reason why the cloud will continue to grow by petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes, and why it is more relevant today than ever before. Consider that by 2018, more than three quarters of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index. The index predicts that annual global cloud IP traffic will reach 6.5 zettabytes by the end of 2018.

So, what’s a zettabyte? One zettabyte equals a lot of exabytes! To be precise, 1,024 exabytes. Now that’s a lot of songs—yesterday’s, today’s, and everything in our future. The cloud is ready to back them all up—and all of your other data. And that’s worth singing about.