In 1980 IBM introduced the 3380, which was the world’s first hard disk drive (HDD) with over one gigabyte of storage capacity. The 3380 had two 1.26 GB HDD assemblies which barely fit into a cabinet the size of a refrigerator. The price tag was a whopping $114,879 in today’s dollars.
When the 3380 was introduced, it is safe to say that very few people were thinking in terms of a zettabyte. Even today, the scale of a zettabyte is difficult to comprehend. To put it into perspective, it would take 34,000 years to watch one zettabyte’s worth of high-definition movies on Netflix. In technical terms, one zettabyte is the equivalent of 10²¹ bytes, or one trillion gigabytes. That is a lot of $114,000 refrigerators!
By the end of 2016, Cisco estimates that global internet traffic will have exceeded one zettabyte per year, and in three short years, global traffic is expected to reach two zettabytes by the end 2019. Yes – we are officially in the Zettabyte Era.
The network of global data centers required to deliver this amount of data to our machines, computers, phones, TVs, and other devices is immense, and the stakes are extremely high. One interruption at a single data center can cost a company millions in lost revenue and cause significant, long-lasting damage to a brand.
For companies managing data centers, the ability to be hyper-efficient and hyper-reliable is a necessity. To continue to scale and deliver the requirements of the Zettabyte Era, data centers must strive to operate at near autonomous levels. There are many electronic security and fire prevention solutions that can help to deliver both reliability and efficiency: