How Much Is A Petabyte?

We store a lot of data here at Mozy (15+ petabytes, in fact), but how much is that really? We put together this series of stats to help you understand just how much data that really is. Enjoy! (Update: since this infographic was originally published, Mozy has grown to store more than 90 petabytes. We’ve also put together a new interactive infographic that takes a fresh look at the petabyte. Check it out!)

How much is a petabyte?


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  • Bad Tim

    Scientists have determined that this information became obsolete 1.2 minutes after you read it. We’re now shooting for YOTTABYTES!

  • Randy

    Nice presentation. Looks like a couple of the quotes came form my site; That is fine that you used them but if anybody needs a better understanding of all of the byte terms and why the hard drive sizes differ from what you see in the Windows drive management, check out

  • James

    What a waste of energy… All of humankind’s written work will be stored, but humans will have wrecked the planet, and themselves, so there will be no one to read it all…

  • Nelsonian

    I think I just blew an O-ring! wowsers! What then is a Zetabyte????

  • Sachin

    Holy Cow its tooo cool

  • Andy

    Im betting the amount that Mozy claims to have stored is the uncompressed numbers, and that they are using some sort of block level compression (deduplication seems to be what they call it nowadays). It would only make sense at the prices they offer and the amazingly slow rate of the backup (which could be their internet I suppose too) that I had experienced when evaluating this as a end-user.

    What’s even more interesting to me is thinking about things like this as it relates to our own brains.

  • Softie

    Whahaaaaaaa ….. Yb…… ……….Zb………………



  • Tom Haczewski

    @Nelsonian Actually it’s a ‘zettabyte’ and that’s a billion terabytes, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

    So to answer your question, a zettabyte is a f*ckton of data.

  • baracuda

    I wonder how long it’ll take to chkdsk,defrag, and/or fsck a petabyte drive (especially as NTFS)…

  • kief

    …I honestly thought more people knew about this stuff by now. Basically it goes Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Exa, Zetta, Yotta, Xona and so forth. Here’s a list:

  • Jason Newton

    Wow I am suitably dumbfounded with how much 50 Petabytes equates to! :)

  • Yogesh Malik

    What’s next after PetaByte, when can i see it , next decade…… wait … next year.

  • paul

    I honestly think that we are getting to the point where things are going to become stagnant with computer technology. For the average consumer, the storage space currently available is more than adequate. Memory space and other things are substantial as well. We have gotten to the point with iPods and other handhold devices that we are limited by screen size (consumers don’t want a smaller screen) so they are at or near their smallest sizes.

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • Matthew

    Why would any normal person want a Pb drive unless they indeed wanted to download the whole Internets. I definately think they way you manage that much data as a home user will have to change. Like it was said above, defragging a Pb harddrive is going to be a nightmare unless your machine is fast enough.

  • dlv

    impressive awesome infographic, congratulations !!!

  • jim w

    great way to give us an idea of the scale of a petabyte, cheers!

  • Ratfuzz

    That would have been very interesting to me if I hadn’t looked up a yottabyte the other day… Seriously, 1,000,000,000,000,000 GB is insane.

  • Ethan

    I love stuff like this, technology is friggin’ amazing.

  • Matt3955

    Is there anything bigger than a petabyte??

  • Venture Bro #1

    Soooo … if Megatron was the leader of the Decepticons … Gigatron would be … ? And Petatron??? OMG, we’re all doomed!

  • Gabriel

    And in ten years we will look back and laugh at the size of a petabyte. We are in the age of teraflops and petabytes, 10 years ago, we were in awe of megaflops and gigabytes, 10 years from now, peta will be the mega of our time. Information will become more robust, and data storage will become as second nature to us as oxygen, taken completely for granted.

  • Avantae

    Nice one, Venture Bro #1

  • Internet Soldier


  • Shadow

    a petabyte its a lot, and it will be a lot even in 20 years…so far there are no programs *im talking about programs for the average PC user* that pass from 25 GB of space usage…i think the petabyte hard drives are gonna come pretty soon to the market, maybe in a year or 2…but unless a new programs appears that uses at least 100 GB of space, i doubt companies will take seriously the production of petabyte hard drives

  • francis

    petabyte age’s here

  • Ed Fry

    Great post! Does that mean hosting fees will drop ;-)

  • love

    just let love be

  • jack

    i have a question, keeping in mind i DO actually quite like this, what single person HONESTLY needs 1000tb… i have trouble filling up 1 let alone 1000…

  • Michael

    Consider this:

    Anyone that works with HD video knows how fast a terabyte gets filled- sometimes a couple per week. Look at HDTV compared to the technology that will be here very soon. Storing and backing up thousands of (larger than) HD video files will mean that petabytes will not be an unnecessary luxury but a practical necessity within 5 years.

  • dave

    how much for a petabyte memory stick

  • adam

    i heard that after the petabyte there is the 1) exabyte 2) zettabyte 3) yottabyte :-)

  • james braselton

    hi there you only need 4 petabytes too use a tely transporter device or beaming up with 4 petabytes that what the sci-fi channel says

  • CB

    I think we might also get a shoe byte after we exhaust all that


  • Shadowizdumb

    Shadow is dumb. See Michaels’ post right below his.

  • wow…what morons

    post #69…Matt3955…seriously? is there a fundamental to mathematics that you do not comprehend? the answer to your question…is yes.2 petabytes are bigger than a petabyte.

  • Ben

    Those 50 petabyte drives wil be very expensive when they come out ;0)

  • Sun

    oh.. fascinating..

    I wonder what’s 1000 petabyte :\
    The whole world virtualized?

    damn.. the neanderthal dudes made quite some progress!!

  • Dave K

    How much will 1Petabyte Cost when available?

  • Jual beli

    awesome..great share…thanks..
    I can’t imagine how much petabyte our brain has..

  • alan

    how meany petabites in the one after that because i know there is some kind of bite after that

  • alan

    but it is still very good

  • Mickey skinner

    A petabyte is just not in the average computer user’s thought process.

  • James McKinney

    @Doug Gauss: When people compare circles, they compare their areas – they do not compare their diameters. Area is the appropriate measure to control. When you scale 2D objects, you should scale along both dimensions, not just one. Otherwise, you are comparing the squares of the values the circles are meant to represent, not the actual values. Visualizations should make things clearer; they should not mislead by exaggerating differences.

  • anonymous

    Still not as large as the Yottabyte. Thats still a billion times larger than a Petabyte

  • Gabriel Ong

    amount of data processed by a baby’s brain per second: 999 yottabytes

  • Mobile Application Development

    Its amazing to see the change in the magnitude of storage being used world over. I’m quite sure that 5 years from now, we’ll get 1PB Hard discs.

  • Killz_Streakz_Freakzz

    Well,well,how is 1024 petabyte equal to??Pls REPLY!!!!!!!

  • Roger Ramjet

    It’s all relative. By the time We start buying petabyte drives, the programs written and the applications used will require space equivalent to what is used now.

  • Mark Albin

    It is amazing how cheap storage is now!

  • Toast

    15+ petabytes at Mozy? I don’t believe it. What are you guys storing?