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What Do Represent All These Bytes?

From bit to geopbyte

This is a Press Release edited by StorageNewsletter.com on 2012.06.13
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Document: What Do Represent All These Bytes?

No top news today. To replace it, we published this document because it could be useful to any storage professionals that want to answer basic questions: what's one byte, one KB, ... one ZB, and what it practically represents according to information from the blog of James Higgins, an 'eclecticist, author and professional speaker.'

how_much_data_is_that

A bit is a single binary digit, zero or one.
A byte is eight bits.
A kilobyte is 1024 bytes.
A megabyte is 1024 kilobytes which is 1048576 bytes.
A gigabyte is 1024 megabytes which is about 1.07^10 bytes.
A terabyte is 1024 gigabytes which is about 1.10*10^12 bytes.
A petabyte is 1024 terabytes which is about 1.13*10^15 bytes.
An exabyte is 1024 petabytes which is about 1.15*10^18 bytes.
A zettabyte is 1024 exabytes which is about 1.18*10^21 bytes.
A yottabyte is 1024 zettabytes which is about 1.21*10^24 bytes.
A brontobyte is 1024 yottabytes which is about 1.24*10^27 bytes.
A geopbyte is 1024 brontobytes which is about 1.24*10^30 bytes.

megabyte
= 1/1152921504606846976 yottabyte
= 1/1125899906842624 zettabyte
= 1/1099511627776 exabyte
= 1/1073741824 petabyte
= 1/1048576 terabyte
= 1/1024 gigabyte
= 1 megabyte
= 8 megabits
= 1024 kilobytes
= 8192 kilobits
= 1048576 bytes
= 2097152 nibbles (nibble is half a byte or 4 bits)
= 8388608 bits

gigabyte
= 1/1125899906842624 yottabyte
= 1/1099511627776 zettabyte
= 1/1073741824 exabyte
= 1/1048576 petabyte
= 1/1024 terabyte
= 1 gigabyte
= 1024 megabytes
= 8192 megabits
= 1048576 kilobytes
= 8388608 kilobits
= 1073741824 bytes
= 2147483648 nibbles
= 8589934592 bits

terabyte
= 1/1099511627776 yottabyte
= 1/1073741824 zettabyte
= 1/1048576 exabyte
= 1/1024 petabyte
= 1 terabyte
= 1024 gigabytes
= 1048576 megabytes
= 8388608 megabits
= 1073741824 kilobytes
= 8589934592 kilobits
= 1099511627776 bytes
= 2199023255552 nibbles
= 8796093022208 bits

petabyte
= 1/1073741824 yottabyte
= 1/1048576 zettabyte
= 1/1024 exabyte
= 1 petabyte
= 1024 terabytes
= 1048576 gigabytes
= 1073741824 megabytes
= 8589934592 megabits
= 1099511627776 kilobytes
= 8796093022208 kilobits
= 1125899906842624 bytes
= 2251799813685248 nibbles
= 9007199254740992 bits

exabyte
= 1/1048576 yottabyte
= 1/1024 zettabyte
= 1 exabyte
= 1024 petabytes
= 1048576 terabytes
= 1073741824 gigabytes
= 1099511627776 megabytes
= 8796093022208 megabits
= 1125899906842624 kilobytes
= 9007199254740992 kilobits
= 1152921504606846976 bytes
= 2305843009213693952 nibbles
= 9223372036854775808 bits

zettabyte
= 1/1024 yottabyte
= 1 zettabyte
= 1024 exabytes
= 1048576 petabytes
= 1073741824 terabytes
= 1099511627776 gigabytes
= 1125899906842624 megabytes
= 9007199254740992 megabits
= 1152921504606846976 kilobytes
= 9223372036854775808 kilobits
= 1180591620717411303424 bytes
= 2361183241434822606848 nibbles
= 9444732965739290427392 bits

yottabyte
= 1 yottabyte
= 1024 zettabytes
= 1048576 exabytes
= 1073741824 petabytes
= 1099511627776 terabytes
= 1125899906842624 gigabytes
= 1152921504606846976 megabytes
= 9223372036854775808 megabits
= 1180591620717411303424 kilobytes
= 9444732965739290427392 kilobits
= 1208925819614629174706176 bytes
= 2417851639229258349412352 nibbles
= 9671406556917033397649408 bits

The information shown below uses measures only associated with data. For example, a kilo-anything is 1000 ... except that when it is a kilobyte, it is 1024, an even power of two.

The following table shows various quantities of bytes, in each power of ten. Usually, they are shown with multiples of 2 and 5 also. For example, 1 kilobyte, 2 kilobytes, 5 kilobytes.

All the examples are approximate and are rounded. For example, a computer card has 80 columns. If 50 columns contain data on a card, then two cards will be 100 bytes. Also, a 3.5-inch diskette can contain 1.4 megabytes. Showing it as 1 megabyte reflects both (a) the diskette not typically being filled and (b) rounding. Finally, a CD-ROM can hold more than 500 megabytes. However, it is listed at that level as 'typical' and as the closest match.

Bytes (8 bits)

  • 0.1 byte: A single yes/no decision  (actually 0.125 bytes, but I rounded)
  • 1 byte: One character
  • 10 bytes: One word (a word of language, not a computer word)
  • 100 bytes: Telegram; two punched computer (Hollerith) cards

Kilobyte (1,024 bytes; 2^10; approx. 1,000 or 10^3)

  • 1 kilobyte: Joke; (very) short story
  • 2 kilobytes: Typewritten page
  • 10 kilobytes: Page out of an encyclopedia
  • 50 kilobytes: Image of a document page, compressed
  • 100 kilobytes: Photograph, low-resolution
  • 200 kilobytes: Two boxes (4000) punched computer (Hollerith) cards
  • 500 kilobytes: Five boxes, one case (10,000 of punched computer (Hollerith) cards

Megabyte (1,048,576 bytes; 2^20;
approx 1,000,000 or 10^6)

  • 1 megabyte: Small novel; 3-1/2 inch diskette
  • 2 megabytes: Photograph, high resolution
  • 5 megabytes: Complete works of Shakespeare; 30 seconds of broadcast-quality video
  • 10 megabytes: Minute of high-fidelity sound; digital chest X-ray; box of 3-1/2 inch diskettes
  • 20 megabytes: Two boxes of 3-1/2 inch diskettes
  • 50 megabytes: Digital mammogram
  • 100 megabytes: Yard of books on a shelf; two encyclopedia volumes
  • 200 megabytes: Reel of 9-track tape; IBM 3480 cartridge tape
  • 500 megabytes: CD-ROM

Gigabyte (1,073,741,824 bytes; 2^30;
approx 1,000,000,000 or 10^9

  • 1 gigabyte: Paper in the bed of a pickup; symphony in high-fidelity sound; broadcast quality movie
  • 2 gigabytes: 20 yards of books on a shelf
  • 20 gigabytes: Audio collection of the works of Beethoven
  • 50 gigabytes: Library floor of books on shelves
  • 100 gigabytes: Library floor of academic journals on shelves

Terabyte (1,099,511,627,776 or 2^40;
approx. 1,000,000,000,000 or 10^
12)

  • 1 terabyte: Automated tape robot; all the X-ray films in a large technological hospital; 50,000 trees made into paper and printed; daily rate of EOS (Earth Orbiting System) data (1998)
  • 2 terabytes: Academic research library
  • 10 terabytes: Printed collection of the U. S. Library of Congress
  • 50 terabytes: Contents of a large mass storage system

Petabyte (1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes or 2^50;
approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000 or 10^15

  • 1 petabyte: 3 years of EOS data (2001)
  • 2 petabytes: All U. S. academic research libraries
  • 200 petabytes: All printed material

Exabyte (1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes or 2^60;
approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10^18)  

  • 5 exabytes: All words ever spoken by human beings

Zettabyte (1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 bytes or 2^70;
approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10^21

Yottabyte (1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes or 2^80;
approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10^24)

IDC calculates that the world's information is more than doubling every two years-with 1.8 zettabytes to be created and replicated in 2011.

In terms of sheer volume,
1.8 zettabytes of data is equivalent to:

  • Every person in the United States tweeting 3 tweets per minute for 26,976 years nonstop
  • Every person in the world having over 215 million high-resolution MRI scans per day
  • Over 200 billion HD movies (each 2 hours in length)-would take 1 person 47 million years to watch every movie  24x7
  • The amount of information needed to fill 57.5 billion 32GB Apple iPads. With that many iPads we could: create a wall of iPads, 4,005-miles long and 61-feet high extending from Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida; build the Great iPad Wall of China-at twice the average height of the original; build a 20-foot high wall around South America; cover 86% of Mexico City; build a mountain 25-times higher than Mt. Fuji.
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