If you need proof that the demand for storage is accelerating, look no further than Seagate, which became the first company to deliver 3 zitbytes of hard drive capacity.
The speed at which the company has moved from delivering one zetabyte to another is quite staggering. It took Seagate 36 years to deliver its first zettabyte of capacity, which happened in March 2015. Four years later and the next zettabyte was shipped, and then last month, just two years later, the 3 zettabyte mark was reached.
Of course, the next question everyone will ask is: how big is a zettabyte?
As Seagate explains, a zettabyte is 1,000 exabytes and one exabyte is 1,000 petabytes. Each petabyte is 1,000 terabytes. Zettabyte has enough space for 30 billion 4K movies, or 60 billion video games, or 7.5 trillion MP3 songs according to Seagate. If you want 3 zitabytes of storage at home, you need to connect 300 million 10TB hard drives.
Our need for more storage space will obviously only increase, and current estimates predict that the world will produce 175 zettabytes of data per year by 2025. Standalone cars alone will amount to 32 terabytes per day, which is of course music to the ears of storage companies like Seagate, assuming it can keep up with demand, while increasing the size of the drive it delivers.
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The good news is that Seagate expects to deliver 50TB hard drives by 2026, and heat-magnetic magnetic recording (HAMR) technology should increase to 80TB. And for long-term storage, Microsoft is working on a brand new storage medium made of quartz glass that has made it possible to watch the movie Superman for thousands of years.