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Multiples of bytes
Value Metric
1000 kB kilobyte
10002 MB megabyte
10003 GB gigabyte
10004 TB terabyte
10005 PB petabyte
10006 EB exabyte
10007 ZB zettabyte
10008 YB yottabyte
1024 KB kilobyte KiB kibibyte
10242 MB megabyte MiB mebibyte
10243 GB gigabyte GiB gibibyte
10244 - - TiB tebibyte
10245 - - PiB pebibyte
10246 - - EiB exbibyte
10247 - - ZiB zebibyte
10248 - - YiB yobibyte
Orders of magnitude of data

The zettabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix zetta indicates multiplication by the seventh power of 1000 or 1021 in the International System of Units (SI). Therefore one zettabyte is one sextillion (one long scale trilliard) bytes.[1][2][3][4][5] The unit symbol is ZB.

1 ZB = 10007bytes = 1021bytes = 1000000000000000000000bytes = 1000exabytes = 1billionterabytes.

A related unit, the zebibyte (ZiB), using a binary prefix, means 10247bytes.

Usage examples[edit]

  • GUID Partition Table (GPT) allows for a maximum disk and partition size of 9.4 zettabytes, or 8 zebibytes, when using 512-byte sectors.[6][7]
  • ZFS allows for a maximum storage capacity of 256 quadrillion zettabytes.[8]

Comparisons for scale[edit]

The combined space of all computer hard drives in the world was estimated at approximately 160 exabytes in 2006.[9] As of 2009, the entire World Wide Web was estimated to contain close to 500 exabytes.[10] This is one half zettabyte. This has increased rapidly however, as Seagate Technology reported selling 330 exabytes worth of hard drives during the 2011 Fiscal Year.[11]

As of 2013, the World Wide Web is estimated to have reached 4 Zettabytes.[12]

  • The world's technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 0.432 zettabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 0.715 in 1993, 1.2 in 2000, and 1.9 (optimally compressed) zettabytes in 2007 (this is the informational equivalent to every person on earth receiving 174 newspapers per day).[13][14]
  • According to International Data Corporation, the total amount of global data is expected to grow to 2.7 zettabytes during 2012. This is an increase of 48% from 2011.[15]
  • Mark Liberman calculated the storage requirements for all human speech ever spoken at 42 zettabytes if digitized as 16 kHz 16-bit audio. This was done in response to a popular expression that states "all words ever spoken by human beings" could be stored in approximately 5 exabytes of data (see exabyte for details). Liberman did freely confess that "maybe the authors [of the exabyte estimate] were thinking about text".[16]
  • Research from the University of Southern California reports that in 2007, humankind successfully sent 1.9 zettabytes of information through broadcast technology such as televisions and GPS.[17]


  1. ^ Tom Burton (2008-01-31). "Zettabyte flood predicted for 2015". 
  2. ^ Lucas Mearian (2007-03-06). "A zettabyte by 2010: Corporate data grows fiftyfold in three years". Computerworld. 
  3. ^ Lucas Mearian (2008-03-11). "Study: Digital universe and its impact bigger than we thought". Computerworld. 
  4. ^ "Internet Traffic to Reach a Zettabyte by 2015, Says Study". 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ Bret Swanson & George Gilder (2008-01-29). "The Impact of Video and Rich Media on the Internet – A ‘zettabyte’ by 2015?". Discovery Institute. 
  6. ^ "FAQ: Drive Partition Limits" (PDF). UEFI Forum. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2013-05-29. 
  7. ^ Roderick W. Smith (2012-07-03). "Make the most of large drives with GPT and Linux". IBM. Retrieved 2013-05-29. "Disk pointers are 64 bits in size, meaning that GPT can handle disks of up to 512 x 264 bytes (8 zebibytes, or 8.6 billion TiB), assuming 512-byte sectors." 
  8. ^ "Oracle Solaris ZFS Administration Guide". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved July 27, 2013. 
  9. ^ John F. Gantz (March 2007). "An IDC White Paper: The Expanding Digital Universe" (PDF). EMC. 
  10. ^ Richard Wray (2009-05-18). "Internet data heads for 500bn gigabytes". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ Douglas Perry (2011-07-22). "The Average HDD is Now 590 GB in Capacity". Tom's Hardware. 
  12. ^ Richard Currier (2013-06-21). "In 2013 the amount of data generated worldwide will reach four zettabytes". 
  13. ^ Martin Hilbert and Priscila López (2011-02-10). "The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information". University of Vermont.  Vol. 332 no. 6025 pp. 60-65
  14. ^ Martin Hilbert (2011-06-11). "World_info_capacity_animation". Youtube. 
  15. ^ "IDC Predicts 2012 Will Be the Year of Mobile and Cloud Platform Wars as IT Vendors Vie for Leadership While the Industry Redefines Itself". IDC. 2011-12-01. 
  16. ^ Mark Liberman (2003-11-03). "Zettascale Linguistics". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  17. ^ Suzanne Wu (2011-02-10). "How Much Information Is There in the World?". University of Southern California. 
  18. ^ Roger E. Bohn & James E. Short (January 2010). "How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers". University of California, San Diego. 
  19. ^ Catherine Herridge (April 12, 2013). "NSA data center front and center in debate over liberty, security and privacy". Fox News Channel. 
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ Blueprints Of NSA's Ridiculously Expensive Data Center In Utah Suggest It Holds Less Info Than Thought, Forbes, July 24, 2013, Retrieved December 19, 2013
  23. ^ Randall Munroe "Google's Datacenters on Punch Cards". 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettabyte — Please support Wikipedia.
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47 news items


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:26:15 -0700

It is estimated that global IP traffic within the next few years will account for about 120 Exabytes per month and this will equate to 1 Zettabyte per year, which does make you wonder what the measurement and volume will be in another 5 or 10 years ...
Observatorio Da Imprensa
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 03:02:59 -0700

A primeira definição está no tamanho de um Zettabyte, que significa um trilhão de Gigabytes, onde um Gigabyte possui bytes, 9 zeros depois do 1. Com isso, um trilhão de Gigabytes tem bytes, 21 zeros.
The American Bazaar
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0700

The firm number that the report predicts is astronomical: India's “digital universe” currently consists of roughly 326 exabytes, which is equivalent to 326 billion gigabytes, but by 2020 that number will increase to 2.8 zettabytes (one zettabyte equals ...
Huffington Post
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:01:21 -0700

To put this in more understandable terms, if the 11-ounce coffee on your desk equals one gigabyte, one zettabyte would have the same volume as the Great Wall of China. This shared information includes photos and videos shared on social media sites, ...
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:46:09 -0700

According to a 2013 Mckinsey Global Institute study, the world will churn out 5 zettabytes (1 zettabyte = 4 billion terabytes) of fresh digital data in 2014 alone and this is expected to hit 35 zetabytes by 2020. This, along with the fact that storage ...
Supply Chain Standard
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 03:18:45 -0700

By 2020, stored data would top 35 zettabytes (a zettabyte is one billion terabytes). In 2009 the figure was half a zettabyte. Dell has been responding to these trends by dversifying its product range. It now offers tablet computers. And it has also ...
SYS-CON Media (press release)
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 05:56:15 -0700

"As we cross into the zettabyte era and face even more sophisticated user demands, we must focus on developing and deploying networks that provide faster and more reliable data connections," says Dan Stoll, SVP of Strategy and Development at Integra.
Mondaq News Alerts (registration)
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 03:59:21 -0700

To get a feel for how big that is—if the takeaway coffee cup on your desk is equivalent to a gigabyte of information, a zettabyte is equivalent to the Great Wall of China according to communications company Cisco. By 2020 there will be more things ...

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