Y is for yottabyte

I am nearing the end of my series, “Digital: From A to Z,” that explores what it means to be digital. What’s in your A to Z of digital? Find me on Twitter @Max_Hemingway or leave a comment below.

You are probably more used to terms such as megabyte, gigabyte and terabyte in everyday computing terms. Yottabyte is a term used to define an amount of storage that is a lot bigger than these. The prefix yotta indicates multiplication by the eighth power of 1000 or 1024.

The below table shows the storage values and metrics:

Value Metric
1000 kB kilobyte
10002 MB megabyte
10003 GB gigabyte
10004 TB terabyte
10005 PB petabyte
10006 EB exabyte
10007 ZB zettabyte
10008 YB yottabyte


We are now living in a society that generates large amounts of data on a daily basis, with a passion to keep adding to it. The norm is to create and not delete.

With the growth of the internet, social media, mobiles, IoT, wearables and other data-creating devices and systems, we are each creating large amounts of data every day that need to be stored somewhere (this can be at your home, work, cloud or a third party collecting the data you create).

According to an IBM report cited by MediaPost, 90% of the data today has been created in the last 2 years, with 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day generated — that’s 2,500,000 terabytes (or 0.0000025 yottabytes).

So, how much data do we create every minute? Domo have produced an infographic that illustrates how this is created across multiple platforms and systems, such as 456,000 tweets and 2,657,700 GB of internet data used by Americans every minute.

Another growth fact on the internet:

The Indexed Web contains at least 4.59 billion pages (Tuesday, 17 October, 2017).


The generation of data brings challenges of what to do with it and how to mine it for useful information through big data, AI, machine learning, data science and analytics. This has brought two views as to whether data is the new oil or not (data is the new oil vs data is not the new oil).

The challenge of deleting and the right to be forgotten is being addressed through legislation in which companies and those storing data about others are now facing a bigger question of compliance with GDPR looming on the horizon. With the potential of big fines, GDPR is something that should not be ignored.

Failure to comply with GDPR could trigger fines of 4 percent of your annual revenue or €20 million, whichever is higher.

How much data are you generating today?!

Further Reading

Join me in my next and final post in my Digital A-Z series as I look at “Z is for zabeta.” See my last post, X is for xperience.

This entry was originally posted in Max’s blog.

Max Hemingway — Senior Architect

Max is a senior architect for DXC Technology in the United Kingdom. With more than 25 years of experience, he has a broad and deep range of technical knowledge and is able to translate business needs into IT-based solutions. Currently a chief technologist in the UK, Max has a proven track record acquired through continual client engagement and delivery of leading edge infrastructures, all of which have delivered positive results for end-clients, including IT cost reduction, expansion of service capability and increased revenues.


  1. […] This entry was originally posted in Max’s blog. See the previous post in the series, Y is for yottabyte. […]

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