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Apple orders 12 petabytes of storage for iTunes video content - report

post #1 of 49
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Apple has reportedly ordered as much as 12 petabytes, or 12,000 terabytes, of additional storage for hosting video content on its iTunes Store.

Apple placed the order with Isilon Systems for videos on iTunes, according to StorageNewsletter.com. The information was attributed to an "inside source" at EMC, which announced its intention to acquire Isilon for $2.25 billion in late 2010.

Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., Isilon designs and sells clustered storage systems and software for digital content. It was founded in 2001.

In acquiring Isilon, EMC said it would use the storage infrastructure technology to help support cloud computing services. Apple has been long rumored to be working on its own "digital locker" service for cloud-based storage of media and content, allowing users to stream music and download images from a centralized server. However, Wednesday's report made no mention of the 12 petabytes being used for cloud services.

Apple's deal with Isilon was said to "probably" make the iPhone maker the largest customer of the storage provider. Other clients of Isilon include Ancestry.com, Clear Channel, MySpace, NBC Universal, Sony, World Wrestling Entertainment, XM Satellite Radio.

Isilon is also reportedly set to introduce a new line of hardware and software on April 11. It will be powered by the Isilon OneFS 6.5 operating system.

Apple's iTunes is the largest digital music and movie store in the world. A recent study found that the iTunes Movie Store controlled the lion's share of the "Internet Video on Demand" market in 2010, representing a 64.5 percent share of all sales.
post #2 of 49
First...

Who's your daddy.
post #3 of 49
1080p. Say it with me.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's iTunes is the largest digital music and movie store in the world. A recent study found that the iTunes Movie Store controlled the lion's share of the "Internet Video on Demand" market in 2010...

Pun not intended...literally.
post #5 of 49
When will I be able to buy a 12 petabyte USB thumb drive?
post #6 of 49
1) How long until this data center is fully operational? How long until they get licenses for 1080p content? Will they update the AppleTV at this time?

At this point I think releasing all at the same time for the iPod event makes some sense, though I'd like to see that data center and a revised MobileMe with non-destructive syncing Ã* la DropBox and Time Machine sooner rather than later.


2) Do petabytes store petafiles?

3) MATH: Base on the current NAND capacity increase cycle how long until the iPhone could store 12 petabytes?
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post #7 of 49
Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.
post #8 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Will they update the AppleTV at this time?

Best part: We don't need new hardware, only new software.

Worst part: Apple will release new hardware and never. EVER. allow the current Apple TV to output 1080p.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


3) MATH: Base on the current NAND capacity increase cycle how long until the iPhone could store 12 petabytes?

We have time only till december 27 2012, so it doesn't matter.

Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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Which of us is the fisherman and which the trout?

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post #10 of 49
For those of you who are wondering how much data is in a Petabyte...

According to James S. Huggins' Refrigerator Door a Petabyte is equal to:
1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes or 2 to the 50th power
approx. 1,000,000,000,000,000 or 10 to the power of 15

1 Petabyte: 3 years of EOS data (2001)
2 Petabytes: All U. S. academic research libraries
20 Petabytes: 1995 production of hard-disk drives
200 Petabytes: All printed material; 1995 production of digital magnetic tape
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

I agree. It does seem small. But then again, the television and movie guys don't seem to want Apple to host content via iTunes.

Maybe the 12 petabytes is need to host "Disney's vault".
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

I think you're missing something - this is the server for iTunes. They only need 1 copy of each file so really the question is how many hours of 1080p video can be squeezed in 12 PB's?

EDIT: If 1 hour is 4GB we're looking at over 3 million hours of video

12PB*(1028TB/PB)*(1028GB/TB)/(4GB/Hr) = 3,170,352 hours
post #13 of 49
According to Wikepedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petabyte), Data the android from Star Trek: The Next Generation had a total storage capacity of 100 Petabytes. I suppose that was a seemingly unreachable number when the scripts were written in the 1980's...now apparently we're just a few years from buying 100 PB drives on sale at Best Buy.

Wonder when Apple will unveil it's new "iRobot"? (would have to get rights from the estate of Issac Asimov!)
post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

They probably wouldn't have to store everyone's songs individually. They should only need 1 copy of each (as long as 10,000 people could stream it live at the same time).
post #15 of 49
I need a 12 petabye hard drive. Then I could download and store every movie ever made. Sweet.
post #16 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

Think of a popular song sold on iTS. Let's say that takes up 10MB. Now consider a storage system like Dropbox or Time Machine. Between zero and an infinite number of owner of that 10MB song bought on iTS and stores for streaming and/or re-downloading all the additional space that is required serverside is minor supplemental data about which users have acres to that file and potentially and altered file names or metadata, as in the see of Dropbox, which is tied to that user's account like a server-side iTunes database XML file.

Then consider it's a rumor and, if true, could represent a single shipment.
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post #17 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

First of all, we don't know whether this one order comprises the entire storage capacity of the server farm.

Secondly, depending on what kind of service this is going to be, it could be that Apple can eliminate redundancies between users. In other words, if 3 million users all have purchased the right to stream the latest hit movie, Apple only needs the one copy as opposed to 3 million. When you add up all of the unique downloadable iTunes content (movies, music, apps, etc) you may still have room left over for people to store personal content as well (but probably not much video).

Until we really know what Apple's plans and ConOps are for the cloud, and until we know how much storage they really have (we may never know the latter) then all our speculations are really a waste of time.

Having said that, I come here to speculate and waste time. That's what rumor sites are primarily for. Good times.

Thompson
post #18 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I think you're missing something - this is the server for iTunes. They only need 1 copy of each file so really the question is how many hours of 1080p video can be squeezed in 12 PB's?

EDIT: If 1 hour is 4GB we're looking at over 3 million hours of video

12PB*(1028TB/PB)*(1028GB/TB)/(4GB/Hr) = 3,170,352 hours

the maximum bitrate for blu-ray is 40mbps [not mBps]. that's 5MB/second.
5MB/second = 300MB/minute = 18GB/hour.

12PB [or 12,000TB - remember 1TB = 1024GB before formatting] / 18GB is a satanic 666,666 hours of completely uncompressed 1080p.

[or if James Cameron has his way, 12PB will store about 2,500 hours of 60fps quad HD 3D Avatar nonsense].

here's an idea of where video bitrates are heading: http://bit.ly/goBzat
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

1080p. Say it with me.

Repeat after me. It doesn't matter. Why waste bandwidth for a format that most people cannot tell the difference between. Again with the spec argument, 1080P is bigger than 720P so therefore MUST be better, more useful, more appreciated. Baloney. Netflix is literally taking over the streaming market and doesn't even come close to 1080P for most user's bandwidth connections. And customers are fine with that it would appear.
post #20 of 49
I love how people are so unimpressed with that reported capacity. Even allowing 1) very generous file sizes (Blu Ray-quality 10G), and, 2) assuming roughly half of it as usable with the rest going to loss for redundancy and room for growth, if it were just for movies there would easily be room for many hundred thousand. If it's less than Blu-Ray quality the number of titles would jump exponentially. Anyhow, who knows if this is just one round of drive orders. First? Last before going online?

Edit - redundant responses because I took too long to compose this. My math might not be exact. I'm using some rough numbers but desarc has better numbers.
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Think of a popular song sold on iTS. Let's say that takes up 10MB. Now consider a storage system like Dropbox or Time Machine. Between zero and an infinite number of owner of that 10MB song bought on iTS and stores for streaming and/or re-downloading all the additional space that is required serverside is minor supplemental data about which users have acres to that file and potentially and altered file names or metadata, as in the see of Dropbox, which is tied to that user's account like a server-side iTunes database XML file.

Then consider it's a rumor and, if true, could represent a single shipment.

But Apple doesn't need to store each song even if the end user uploads it.

What Apple could do is have the end user upload their copy, process it, and then stream THEIR (as in Apples copy) to the end user. Essentially Apple could create a dropbox like system for music storage without hosting the end users files.
post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

First...

Who's your daddy.

Just love going to the comments to see that the #2 spot (article in #1) has a deep thought like that.

Could we maybe skip these for a while, Please.

Thanks for your kind consideration.
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

When will I be able to buy a 12 petabyte USB thumb drive?

I think that size thumb drive is still in the wheelbarrow edition. That being said it will probably be early next spring don't ya think

BTW: I hope it is at least USB 2.
post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Repeat after me. It doesn't matter. Why waste bandwidth for a format that most people cannot tell the difference between. Again with the spec argument, 1080P is bigger than 720P so therefore MUST be better, more useful, more appreciated. Baloney. Netflix is literally taking over the streaming market and doesn't even come close to 1080P for most user's bandwidth connections. And customers are fine with that it would appear.

1080P matters for me, my 20/20 vision, and my 55" TV that we sit @ 10 feet from.

We watch netflix streamed movies on our TV because there isn't an option to stream 1080p, not that it matters with U-Verse's new 250GB/month cap.
post #25 of 49
Those of you debating if apple knows how to count or not are hilarious

Um, I think it's pretty certain apple knows how much storage space they need to do whatever they're planning to do
post #26 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Repeat after me. It doesn't matter. Why waste bandwidth for a format that most people cannot tell the difference between. Again with the spec argument, 1080P is bigger than 720P so therefore MUST be better, more useful, more appreciated. Baloney. Netflix is literally taking over the streaming market and doesn't even come close to 1080P for most user's bandwidth connections. And customers are fine with that it would appear.

With a species continually driven by instant gratification convenience is king.

Despite the crappy quality of 128Kbps iTMS files coupled with DRM it still managed to be the world's largest music store; despite the crappy 320x240 Flash video of YouTube it still became one of the world's most visored sites and distributor of streaming video; despite the poor 320p, and later 480p, quality Flash video of Hulu it still became a widely popular method of watching missed television shows instead of waiting for the physical media to be sold or an episode to re-air; and despite the lack of eye-spooging HD Netflix's streaming service is overtaking it's physical media service and surely far outstripals its Blu-ray rentals.
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post #27 of 49
While I agree with those who said that Apple could just hold 1 copy of a song/video that's being offered in iTunes and use that to serve millions of users, this kind of service would, at least from my point of view, be less useful that what Amazon is currently offering. I personally wish Apple would offer the chance for me to upload whatever files, whether iTunes can recognize or not, and use those files on any iOS devices. But maybe that's just me. \
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

But Apple doesn't need to store each song even if the end user uploads it.

What Apple could do is have the end user upload their copy, process it, and then stream THEIR (as in Apples copy) to the end user. Essentially Apple could create a dropbox like system for music storage without hosting the end users files.

That's the whole point. Like DropBox and Time Machine the file isn't uploaded if they already have it. There is absolutely no reason very user would need to upload the same song back to the iTS sever.

Ever try to upload a large file to Dropbox and it seems to fo it instantly even though your Internet connection couldn't possibly be that fast? That's because it only needs one copy of a file, not a distinct copy for each user on the system.
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post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

... Wonder when Apple will unveil it's new "iRobot"? (would have to get rights from the estate of Issac Asimov!)

Asimov has no trademarks on the word "Robot" (nor can he have), and has never used "iRobot" either.

For that matter, Spielberg has no right charging for Android using "Droid" since it's a word in public use for decades previous to his films and he has never made mobile phones. You can bet that if Apple had chosen "Droid" instead of "iPhone" they surely wouldn't be paying the guy anything for it.

Sometimes people are so scared of lawsuits they do strange things though. The USA is the most litigious nation on the planet bar none.
post #30 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawson100 View Post

I love how people are so unimpressed with that reported capacity. Even allowing 1) very generous file sizes (Blu Ray-quality 10G), and, 2) assuming roughly half of it as usable with the rest going to loss for redundancy and room for growth, if it were just for movies there would easily be room for many hundred thousand. If it's less than Blu-Ray quality the number of titles would jump exponentially. Anyhow, who knows if this is just one round of drive orders. First? Last before going online?

Edit - redundant responses because I took too long to compose this. My math might not be exact. I'm using some rough numbers but desarc has better numbers.

Your number is as good as him. 1080p movie in mkv @ 10 GB. look just as good as bluray. I doubt anyone would use bluray bit-rate for streaming.
post #31 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mactoid View Post

Wonder when Apple will unveil it's new "iRobot"? (would have to get rights from the estate of Issac Asimov!)

They might also want to contact the (well-established) iRobot corporation....

www.irobot.com/

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #32 of 49
Can't you guys see through the misinformation? The drives will be used in the North Carolina "Data Center" for the digitization of Steve!

I joke only to relieve the tension. I hope he has many more years--for his family and for Apple.
post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezylstra View Post

The drives will be used in the North Carolina "Data Center" for the digitization of Steve!

It's for his iBook library.
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

the maximum bitrate for blu-ray is 40mbps [not mBps]. that's 5MB/second.
5MB/second = 300MB/minute = 18GB/hour.

12PB [or 12,000TB - remember 1TB = 1024GB before formatting] / 18GB is a satanic 666,666 hours of completely uncompressed 1080p.

[or if James Cameron has his way, 12PB will store about 2,500 hours of 60fps quad HD 3D Avatar nonsense].

here's an idea of where video bitrates are heading: http://bit.ly/goBzat

They're not going to store Blu-ray for streaming. That's ludicrous. The first constraint on that bitrate would be the bandwidth to the destination. (Very few people are going to experience sustained 5 MB/second, in spite of the marketing claims of some providers and promising future roadmaps.) That's long before we even begin discussion of server-side storage space.

Thompson
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

Maybe I'm just totally clueless on this, but 12 petabytes doesn't sound a lot to me. I mean a single portable harddrive nowadays have at least 1TB storage on average, so 12,000 TB is like only 12k portable harddrives, how is that enough to serve millions of users?

Even if I use a very conservative estimate and say Apple offers the same storage as Amazon (20 GB per person), 12 petabytes is only serving 600k people.

at first, and in that scenario, yes, it seems small. but like the article said, no where in the announced purchase does it mention using this storage for the cloud. rather, this storage is for iTunes, and it sounds like specifically for movies. 12PB could store roughly 10-12 million more standard def movies or around roughly 4-6 million HD movies. thats quite the addition to iTunes, especially when you take into account that this isn't a total sum after the order, but the order is for 12PB more than what they currently have...
post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Best part: We don't need new hardware, only new software.

Worst part: Apple will release new hardware and never. EVER. allow the current Apple TV to output 1080p.

Another best part: It only costs $99.
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post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

It's for his iBook library.

Reminds me the Wong Library from Futurama.

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post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povilas View Post

We have time only till december 27 2012, so it doesn't matter.

I thought it was Dec. 21. You mean we have to go through one more Christmas?
post #39 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

When will I be able to buy a 12 petabyte USB thumb drive?

No, you heard it wrong. That is the storage for the revised iPod shuffle redesigned to be the size of a usb thumb drive to be presented and demoed by Steve at WWDC!

About time... for a while every iPod revision was smaller with greater memory and then... nothing... yep, about time the tradition continues!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

the maximum bitrate for blu-ray is 40mbps [not mBps]. that's 5MB/second.
5MB/second = 300MB/minute = 18GB/hour.

12PB [or 12,000TB - remember 1TB = 1024GB before formatting] / 18GB is a satanic 666,666 hours of completely uncompressed 1080p.

Maximum bitrate for Blu-ray video is 40 Mb/s, yes. But we do want audio as well, right? But it's really irrelevant, since most of the iDevices will choke on that.

Incidentally the data on a Blu-ray disk is extremely compressed (uncompressed video, or even losslessly compressed video is several hundred megabits per second).
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