100 Petabytes of Cloud Data

March 18th, 2014

Wow. Backblaze is now storing 100 petabytes of customer data in our cloud storage.

100 petabytes is a hard number to wrap our heads around, so…

How much data is 100 petabytes?

100 petabytes
100,000 terabytes
100,000,000 gigabytes
100,000,000,000 megabytes

Here are a few comparisons to help contextualize what 100 petabytes:
* 1/4th as much data as Facebook stores today for its 1+ billion users.
* 11,415 years of HD video watched 24×7 could be stored.
* $51,600,000 spent annually to store this much data on Amazon S3.
* 33 billion songs stored, or all of the songs iTunes has 1270 times over.

All of this data is stored on Backblaze’s custom-built and open-sourced Storage Pods, filled with approximately 30,000 hard drives (many of which were “farmed” and from which we analyzed “which hard drive you should buy“), and all to provide unlimited online backup.

What’s also crazy is that in Jan 2011, Backblaze had just 10 petabytes:
* It took 2.5 years to get from 0 to 10 petabytes.
* It took 3.5 years to get from 10 petabytes to 100 petabytes.

Wondering where these comparisons came from?
* June 2013, Facebook announced it stored 250 petabytes of data and was adding 15 petabytes per month. 10 months have passed, so Facebook should be storing:
=> 250 petabytes + (15 petabytes/month * 10 months) = 400 petabytes.
* HD takes up about 1 GB per video-hour:
=> 100 petabytes is 100,000,000 GB, or 100,000,000 hours = 11,415 years.
* In Northern California, Amazon S3 is priced at $0.094/GB/month to start:
=> 100,000,000 GB * $0.094/GB/month * 12 months = $112,800,000/year.
However, as you store more data, S3 gets cheaper and other regions cost less. Picking the lowest cost region and the lowest cost tier of pricing, we get:
=> 100,000,000 GB * $0.043/GB/month * 12 = $51,600,000/year.
* An average song takes up 3 megabytes, resulting in 33 billion songs fitting into 100 petabytes. iTunes has 26 million songs available, or:
=> 1/1270th of the number that can fit in Backblaze’s current cloud storage.

Gleb Budman
Co-founder and CEO of Backblaze. Founded three prior companies. He has been a speaker at GigaOm Structure, Ignite: Lean Startup, FailCon, CloudCon; profiled by Inc. and Forbes; a mentor for Teens in Tech; and holds 5 patents on security.

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  • Damian Szczepański

    That’s really impressive. Why Facebook has to store so much data, I can’t imagine. You can go through one week messages and get lost. So one week messages is enough to keep in memory the rest of it is not important messages that could be thrown away. That’s my impression.