What does 3 zettabytes mean in the real world?
Seagate just became the first data storage company ever to have shipped 3 zettabytes of hard drive storage capacity, surpassing that milestone in March 2021.
Scroll below to see our infographic celebrating 3ZB shipped! And click these links to view the infographic in these languages: 简体中文 (Simplified Chinese), 繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese), Nederlands (Dutch), Français (French), Deutsch (German), Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), 日本語 (Japanese), 한국어 (Korean), Polski (Polish), Português (Portuguese), Pусский (Russian), Español – España (Spanish), Español – Latinoamérica (Spanish), ภาษาไทย (Thai), Türkçe (Turkish), and Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese).
It had previously taken Seagate 36 years to reach the milestone of its first 1 zettabyte shipped in total. Then it took less than another four years to reach a total of 2 zettabytes shipped, and then just over two more years to accomplish 3 zettabytes shipped since the company’s founding. Seagate’s ability to manufacture ever more storage capacity has clearly accelerated.
Three zettabytes is a very big number. It represents a lot of data stored. 3ZB is enough space to hold 30 billion 4K movies — that’s so much cinema it’d take 5.4 million years to watch it! Or 60 billion video games — enough to let you enjoy nonstop gameplay for 86,700 lifetimes!
But when we think about the future, since the demand for storage is increasing so rapidly, 3 zettabytes is really just a few drops of water to a very thirsty traveler…
The Need for Data Storage Is Accelerating
International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated last year in Seagate’s Rethink Data report that the sum of data generated globally by 2025 is set to accelerate exponentially to 175 zettabytes — that’s 58 times all the storage Seagate has shipped to date! Put another way, more data is created in a single hour now than in an entire year just two decades ago.
Did you know a self-driving car can produce up to 32 terabytes of data in a single day, per vehicle? And a smart city can generate 2.5 petabytes of data each day. (See more examples in the infographic below.)
But at the same time, IDC found that, on average, only 32% of data available to enterprises is being put to work, while the remaining 68% goes unleveraged. That’s a lot of potential value lost.
So it’s more critical than ever that storage devices and infrastructure keep up with the growth of data creation. Thankfully, Seagate is leading with innovations like HAMR which will help us continue to increase the capacities of HDDs and enterprise storage systems long into the future.
Meanwhile, to capture the full potential of data at the zettabyte scale — to enable innovations that change the way we live, heal, work, commute, and take care of our planet — there also needs to be a simple, secure, and economic way to capture, store, and activate data. So Seagate’s also innovating with its open standards-based storage systems and software and Lyve edge-to-cloud mass storage platform, including the new Lyve Rack, Lyve Mobile and Lyve Cloud to help enterprises overcome the cost and complexity of storing, moving, and activating data at scale.
All This Data Has Enormous Value
Data is a treasure trove of value. To the organizations who are investing the effort into creating, capturing, analyzing, and storing data in various repositories, the more they can leverage their investment by putting that data to use, the more discoveries they can make, the more problems they can solve, and the more value they will derive from it.
In celebration of Seagate’s milestone — 3 zettabytes shipped — the infographic below offers some other real-world examples of just how much data is being generated today. Take a look: