Data Sizes

I read an article from a few months back in Business Week about cloud computing. There was a chart about the size of data.

  • A binary digit is a bit
  • 8 bits is a byte
  • 1,000 bytes is a kilobyte (10 to the 3rd power)
  • 1,000 kilobytes is a megabyte (10 to the 6th power)
  • 1,000 megabytes is a gigabyte (10 to the 9th power)
  • 1,000 gigabytes is a terabyte (You can start using the monster truck “SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!” voice here) (10 to the 12th power, aka trillions)
  • 1,000 terabytes is a petabyte (10 to the 15th power, aka quadrillion)
  • 1,000 petabytes is an exabyte (10 to the 18th power, aka quintillion)

With regards to terminology, this was as far as I went.

  • 1,000 exabytes is a zettabyte (10 to the 21st power, aka sextillion)
  • 1,000 zettabytes is a yottabyte (10 to the 24th power, aka septillion)


Image from Wikimedia, assumed allowed under Fair Use. Image from the Vatican Virgil, a 5th century manuscript of poems by Virgil.