Achievement Unlocked: Backblaze Hits 1 Exabyte of Storage

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Backblaze, a data storage provider, has amassed so much customer data over the years that it now has over 1 exabyte (EB) of storage. 

With a byte being a single unit of digital storage, 1EB is the equivalent of 1 billlion gigabytes  (GB) or 1 million of your lofty 1TB hard drives. As BackBlaze puts it, if 1GB is like the size of Earth, 1EB is like the size of the sun. If you were to start a video call, it would have to last 237,823 years to fill up 1EB. 

Today, Backblaze is one of the very few companies that has a storage capacity of 1EB. According to ZDNet, the first 1EB storage system came via Oracle in 2011. It's more complicated than you may think. Backblaze invested a lot of time and money to get to 1EB. For starters, you need to have the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate all the hard drives. Furthermore, hard drives often fail, and the company has to replace them.

Backblaze started as a five-person crew back in 2007 in one of the co-founder's apartments. The company has now grown to 145 employees with customers in over 160 different countries. 

Backblaze's 1EB arsenal is spread across 125,000 hard drives with capacities spanning from 4TB to 14TB. The firm utilizes models from all the big-name brands, such as Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST).

1EB is cool and all, but Backblaze has already set its eyes on reaching 1 zettabyte (ZB) or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, depending on how you want to look at it.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • Geef
    Just made me think of the Audible book series: Expeditionary Force. The main character meets an Elder AI that an Exabyte is like 0.00000000001% of his storage capacity.
    Check the book out if you will like a story where other races have been in the galaxy for a long time and there are different tiers of races. Top tier = most technologically advanced and they control next lower tiers who control the next tiers and so on. Two of the races show up to earth to battle each other and humans get caught in the middle.
  • jchap1590
    Is a byte really a single unit of digital storage, though, Tom's? I'm fairly certain a byte is 8 bits
  • derekullo
    jchap1590 said:
    Is a byte really a single unit of digital storage, though, Tom's? I'm fairly certain a byte is 8 bits
    1 byte is indeed a singular unit.. 1=1

    Size is relative in that you tend to use the most convenient units for what needs measuring.

    The size of a graphics card is typically measured in inches or millimeter.

    1 millimeter is a singular unit but I could also measure graphics cards in picometers and give some crazy large number that isn't very easy to remember.

    For example, a Geforce 2080Ti is 267000000000 picometers long isn't very easy understand unless you bring it back to millimeters ... 267 millimeters.

    Even the picometer isn't as small as it gets if you wanted the smallest unit of length.

    For that you would have to read about the Planck length
  • bit_user
    Uh, I hope these guys have a good way to recycle those 125k drives, which probably don't last more than about 5 years or so.

    Anyway, thanks to BackBlaze for cluing me into HGST disks. I wish I'd started using them sooner.
  • mdd1963
    1,000 Petabytes....!

    (Although 1 million TB is likely more readily understandable for most)

    Impressive! (Hate to have their electric bill!)
  • dalauder
    derekullo said:
    1 byte is indeed a singular unit.. 1=1
    I think he meant "quantized unit". But I suppose the article never called a byte the smallest unit of digital storage, just "a unit".

    It pretty quickly got to just talking in terms of Gigabytes.
  • bit_user
    dalauder said:
    Hey, good to see you back here!