April 7

As creation and consumption of data continues to grow like never before, the storage giant claimed it has now shipped over three zettabytes of drive storage capacity, highlighting again how the amount of data in the digital world is not only climbing, but accelerating.

A zettabyte isn’t a run-of-the-mill storage capacity. It’s one thousand exabytes (EB). That is to say, one million petabytes (PB). That is to say, one trillion terabytes (TB). Talking your language now? From the early days of hard disk storage in the mid-20th century to the rise of business and personal computing drives in the 1980s, 90s and beyond (Seagate was founded in 1979), it’s taken a long time to even start talking about zetta-anything. The company reached it only recently: hitting the 1 zettabyte mark in 2015. Seems like just yesterday. Since then however, the 2 and now 3 ZB marks have arrived relatively rapidly.

Portion of Seagate infographic: 3ZB Milestone How Did We Get Here?
The First Zettabyte is the Hardest: Part of Seagate infographic depicting that after the 1 zettabyte mark in 2015 it took 4 years to double that shipped capacity and then only a further 2 years to hit the 3 zettabyte mark. The capacity that Seagate has shipped since it’s inception 1979 takes a turn upwards in the last number of years as the world’s need for data storage has grown sharply.

Other than serving as evidence that Seagate, one of the few remaining hard drive manufacturers, is doing a-okay businesswise (with very large capacity drives continuing to come off the line including an 18TB EXOS enterprise datacenter drive), it exemplifies just how much the world of data continues to grow. The data creation boom and our changing habits helped in part by applications like video continues to push towards the whopping 175 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025 that is forecasted. The engineering innovators at firms like Seagate will have to maintain shipping capacity to meet our overflowing data demands whether it’s being stored on hard disks, solid-state drive or tapes!

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