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

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    First...



    Who's your daddy.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    1080p. Say it with me.
  • Reply 3 of 48
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    takeotakeo Posts: 415member
    When will I be able to buy a 12 petabyte USB thumb drive?
  • Reply 5 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 48
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 48
    davidgdavidg Posts: 5member
    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
  • Reply 10 of 48
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    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".
  • Reply 11 of 48
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 48
    mactoidmactoid Posts: 112member
    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!)
  • Reply 13 of 48
    aeleggaelegg Posts: 99member
    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).
  • Reply 14 of 48
    enjournienjourni Posts: 254member
    I need a 12 petabye hard drive. Then I could download and store every movie ever made. Sweet.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 48
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,510member
    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
  • Reply 17 of 48
    desarcdesarc Posts: 642member
    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
  • Reply 18 of 48
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,404member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    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.
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