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Seagate claims it shipped its third zettabyte of storage in record time

36 years to hit 1 ZB. Then, like buses, none for ages, then 2 ZB almost at once

Disk-maker Seagate claims to have become the first company to ship three zettabytes' worth of data storage devices.

A zettabyte is a thousand exabytes, and an exabyte is a thousand petabytes. The latter quantity is far from fanciful these days. Seagate already offers an 18TB Exos drive, they'd only have to sell 56 to hit a petabyte. Cisco offers a 56-drive storage server – boom, there’s your petabyte. Now all you need is to multiply that lot by thousand to get an exabyte, then do the same again to get a zettabyte. Somewhere along the line you'll probably want to make sure your data centre floor can handle the load, and maybe run out an extra power board or two.

But we digress.

Seagate said it took 36 years to send its first zettabyte out the door, and just four years to ship its second.

Zettabyte three took just two years.


Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


The manufacturer is terribly excited at having hit that target, citing analyst reports about the increasing rate of data creation as meaning it is eminently sensible to immediately set sail in pursuit of more zettabytes to meet an expected annual market of 175 or more zettabytes by 2025.

Disk-makers already have 20TB+ disks on their roadmaps and the LTO tape standard envisions 144TB cartridges late in the 2020s. All that storage will eventually pile up to yottabyte – a thousand zettabytes. At which point The Register will attempt to calculate how much of it is cat videos and perhaps convene our Standards Bureau to devise nomenclature appropriate to the moment. ®


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