Wired Magazine is reporting on a story that the amount of digital data moving around the world today is something on the order of 161 exabytes. Although the exact number (and methodology) might be disputable, it appears the research is in the right ballpark. Just to put that into perspective (using base 10 instead of base 2), one exabyte = 1,000 petabytes or 1,000,000 terrabytes or 1 billion gigabytes (again, slightly different in base 2). They even estimate we’re likely to hit slightly under 1,000 exabytes (or one zettabyte) by 2010.
They also estimate that 161 exabytes is in the same ball park as the total amount of storage available world wide! So go clean out your inbox, will ya? We need the space!