Data Size Matters

Most people understand the relative size of their digital files. That report you just saved is 318 kilobytes (kB); those vacation photos tally 750 megabytes (MB); your new iPod holds 20 gigabytes (GB) of music. When data sets start to grow, however, their sizes become more difficult to explain. How much does a terabyte (TB) hold? How many DVDs would it take to reach a zettabyte? And what on earth is a yottabyte?

Hard drive capacity has increased 50-million-fold since 1956. It took 26 years to create a 1 GB hard drive, but between 2007 and 2011, hard drives quadrupled in size from 1 TB to 4 TB. Within the next ten years, 20 TB hard drives may even become commonplace.

In this infographic, datascience@berkeley has collected some real-life examples to help explain the scope of data. We’ve also provided a timeline of hard drive innovation and a glimpse at where the data storage industry is heading. Feel free to share, because after all…Data Size Matters.

In a world of digital storage, size does matter, but it can be hard to wrap our minds around what each file size really means. Here are some real-life examples:

From Bits To Yottabytes

History of the Hard Drive

Hard drives have increased 50-million-fold in the density of information they can hold since their introduction in 1956:

The Future of the Hard Drive

As the need for high-capacity storage increases, scientists are trying to find ways to fit more hard drive platters into the same space, increasing the amount of information that can be stored on a single drive.

New Hard Drive Technologies

2013 - Western Digital experiments with helium-filled drives, which could offer a capacity of 5.6 TB.

2014 - Seagate’s SMR technology is predicted to allow hard drives to reach capacities of 5 TB.

2020 - Seagate’s HAMR technology is predicted to allow hard drives to reach capacities of 20 TB.


http://www.jamesshuggins .com/tek1/how-big.htm

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