Apple reportedly ordered 12 petabytes of video storage for iTunes cloud

By on April 7, 2011, 8:00 AM
Apple has ordered as much as 12 petabytes worth of data storage from EMC unit Isilon Systems, according to an inside source cited by StorageNewsletter. The order supposedly coincides with the upcoming release of a new product that Isilon is expected to announce next week.

Such a large order for data storage may be being made for the construction of Apple's huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina. This new building is expected to be the hub for a new version of iTunes that relies on storing media in the cloud, rather than having customers use their own HDDs. The main focus will be for storing video content, rather than music, which is why so much storage is required.

1 petabyte (PB) is equivalent to 1,000 terabytes (TB), or 1,000,000 gigabytes (GB). In other words, Apple has reportedly ordered 12 million gigabytes worth of storage. To give you an idea of how much this is, a single-layer DVD has a capacity of 4.7GB, so 12PB would be able to hold almost 212,766 DVDs.

Rumors have been flying around for a while now that Apple is working on its own digital locker for cloud-based storage of media and content. Just like Google's and Amazon's offerings, the service would allow users to access content they purchased from a centralized server.

Founded in 2001 in Seattle, Washington, Isilon designs and sells clustered storage systems and software for digital content. EMC, which announced its intention to acquire Isilon for $2.25 billion in late 2010, said it would use the storage infrastructure technology to support cloud computing services.




User Comments: 18

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Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

When will people learn that bytes are not decimal based? 1 petabyte is 1,024 terabytes, or 1,048,576 gigabytes. And a DVD is 4.37 GB so, 12 PB is the equivalent of 239,554 DVDs rounded up.

Raswan Raswan said:

Because it too hard? People are lazy? In the end, it doesn't really make a difference? Take your pick.

Leeky Leeky said:

In the end, it doesn't really make a difference?

Of course it makes a difference. One way is correct, the other is incorrect.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Leeky said:

In the end, it doesn't really make a difference?

Of course it makes a difference. One way is correct, the other is incorrect.

I agree, but its passable mistake. I think the article's point came across; let's not dwell too munch into the semantics...

Leeky Leeky said:

I agree, but its passable mistake. I think the article's point came across; let's not dwell too munch into the semantics...

Oh definitely, my comment was in response to the poster in questions point mainly, otherwise I wouldn't have really said anything.

Its a common mistake, but but a mistake none-the-less.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Actually now the SI (International System of Units) says a megabyte is 10^6 bytes. And a mebibyte is 2^20 bytes. This is why HDD and other storage manufacturers seem to advertise higher capacities than what they are reported on most OSs since most systems use the original way of counting the capacities by multiples of 2.

Apple since SL uses the SI table for reporting capacities, don't know if any other system does this. But I think this is the best solution since everyone advertises their specifications using multiples of 10.

So yeah this article is factually right and wagan8r is theoretically wrong (see chart at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte) although I was taught in school the binary way, it seems some time the SI decided to standardize it and rounded them.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

marioestrada said:

Actually now the SI (International System of Units) says a megabyte is 10^6 bytes. And a mebibyte is 2^20 bytes. This is why HDD and other storage manufacturers seem to advertise higher capacities than what they are reported on most OSs since most systems use the original way of counting the capacities by multiples of 2.

Apple since SL uses the SI table for reporting capacities, don't know if any other system does this. But I think this is the best solution since everyone advertises their specifications using multiples of 10.

So yeah this article is factually right and wagan8r is theoretically wrong (see chart at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte) although I was taught in school the binary way, it seems some time the SI decided to standardize it and rounded them.

How can he be theoretically wrong, if he's not factually right? In other words, he's factually wrong.

As to the veracity of your argument, I can't check because I'm at work...

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@lawfer yes I know, I just wasn't trying to sound mean nor pedantic :S. And in theory if something is theoretically wrong it should also be factually wrong so that's why I ended up using that sentence.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

mario (and Emil) is 'factually' right lawfer, for whatever stupid reasons (read getting some extra bucks I guess) the HDD manufacturer started doing this few years ago. So, it is rather a case of 'reality' is being bit different than the theory.

By the way, Quantum Mechanics does tell us that 'reality can be different i) when we observe it, and ii) when we do not observe it. So as long as HDD manufacturer's wasn't so 'observant' they continued to use the 'right way' of calculating an MB, but then some smartass in the industry thought (or rather observed it) about this and changes were made.

intelinside said:

interesting.... btw, who's selling the contents to Apple?

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

@intelinside it's not just media content, now with the App Stores (iOS and Mac) a lot of developers distribute their software and games (including very large ones) through it. So Apple needs a LOT of storage for music, standard and HD video, software and games.

And of course there's also MobileMe and related cloud services.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

marioestrada said:

Actually now the SI (International System of Units) says a megabyte is 10^6 bytes. And a mebibyte is 2^20 bytes. This is why HDD and other storage manufacturers seem to advertise higher capacities than what they are reported on most OSs since most systems use the original way of counting the capacities by multiples of 2.

Apple since SL uses the SI table for reporting capacities, don't know if any other system does this. But I think this is the best solution since everyone advertises their specifications using multiples of 10.

So yeah this article is factually right and wagan8r is theoretically wrong (see chart at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabyte) although I was taught in school the binary way, it seems some time the SI decided to standardize it and rounded them.

Wow, I didn't know that they even created such a unit as a mebibyte. I guess I'll have to swallow my pride and say that the article is factually right. Now, I officially hate the SI. Using decimal based numbers to describe memory amounts is flat out retarded. No computer works in such a manner. I understand that they want "consistency" in their beloved prefixes, but if that's the case, they should completely do-away with even using kilobyte, megabyte, etc. and ONLY use the kibi, mebi, ect. prefixes.

Guest said:

12 petabytes... so around 12 million gigabytes? There are hundreds of millions of iDevices sold. Each person would get less than 100mb of storage!

Guest said:

The post regarding 100MB of storage per user is assuming that each unique song/video would be stored for each individual user. Certainly for commercially available titles those would be likely stored only once and pointers would be used from each persons library.

Guest said:

"..for commercially available titles those would be likely stored only once and pointers would be used from each persons library."

yep.

Also, one account could have multiple devises associated with it, seeing how one person could own an iPhone, iPad, and so on, that they would sync with their one account.

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

And of course this is not the only storage facility Apple has. That math by first Guest is assuming Apple has only 12 petabytes of storage and they have been storing all their data in air this whole time.

Guest said:

i dnt know abt this cloud thing ... if they start something like netflix then its gonna work otherwise its same thing as streaming .. i mean u can stream songs on devices anyways.....

Guest said:

The article writer was taking into account the formatted drive in regards to sizes ;)

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