Exabyte: a unit of storage containing 〖10〗^18 bytes.
For reference, 〖10〗^18 bytes is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. It is the eighth largest unit of measurement for bytes, preceded by Petabytes, and followed by Zettabytes.
The prefix exa stands for one billion billion, or one quintillion. Exabytes are too large to measure the amount of data in any one singular device or network. In fact, the largest cloud networks are only measured in Petabytes.
The only practical applications of Exabytes are as a measurement of internet traffic over a given time or as a measurement of many large storage networks. In fact, a few hundred Exabytes of data are transferred over the internet in a given year.
Some interesting facts about Exabytes include Google’s estimate of having roughly 10 Exabytes of data stored on disks and another 5 on tape; the 2007 estimate that the world storage capacity for data was 295 Exabytes, which could fill up enough CD’s (404 billion) to make a stack that would go from the earth to the moon and a quarter of that distance back.
It is expected that by 2016, global IP traffic (internet traffic) will exceed 110 Exabytes per month. Finally, a single gram of DNA supposedly contains about 455 Exabytes of data. It is important to note that the Exabyte is measured on the metric scale, and is an SI specific measurement.
Most of the storage units have two different measurements… the SI which uses multiples of ten as the standard for measurement and the binary measurement which uses the powers of two instead of ten. The binary equivalent of Exabyte is exbibyte.
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