Listening to the latest TWiT (This Week in Tech) podcast the other night as I was trying to go to sleep (which has become a serious challenge for me lately), Leo Laporte—the chief TWiT (as he calls himself)—mentioned a quick statistic that I found hard to boggle. Leo stated that every day there are 350 million new photographs uploaded to Facebook.
Just so you know that was not a typo: 350 million new pictures are uploaded to Facebook every 24 hours.
I have since checked this out on the Web and I can confirm that Leo is correct.
I find this number staggering; even a bit depressing.
Just consider the amount of data this equates to. I think it is relatively safe to assume that the vast bulk of these pictures would have been taken using a smartphone—although none of mine are. I figure that the average size of a smartphone JPG format picture is likely to be around 1.8MB. Assuming most images are uploaded as taken (i.e., people don't bother to crop them or further compress them before uploading them), then based on these numbers this indicates that something like 630,000,000MB worth of pictures is uploaded to Facebook daily.
That's 630,000GB … or 630TB … uploaded daily.
Up there at Facebook they then have to store all that data, and, for the purposes of backup and restore in the case of a 'disaster', they probably store it all twice.
Okay. I realise that Facebook further compresses the images using lossy compression when they are uploaded, which is why no serious photographer would ever use Facebook to store pictures. But even if they further compress/reduce the uploaded images by as much as 50 percent that means they are still having to store 315TB of data daily (twice if they store a copy somewhere for backup purposes).
So, for the storage of one year's worth of pictures alone Facebook would need primary storage for 114,975TB of data (or 115 petabytes). If they were using 4TB spindles (disks) they would need about 30,000 of them each year—not counting backup storage, which, depending how they did it, would almost double the amount of disks needed!
Seriously! 30,000 x 4TB disks just for Facebook to store one year's worth of uploaded pictures (not including backup storage).
This makes me start to wonder just how much data is being stored 'in the cloud' every day.