According to a site named StorageNewsletter.com, Apple has picked up a whopping 12 petabytes of data storage from a company named Isilon Systems. Supposedly, the new hardware (which makes Apple one of Isilon's biggest customers) will be used for storing video for iTunes, though because this information is unofficial, we have no idea if it has to do with Apple's new data center or some other operation Apple has planned around iTunes and its services.
What we can say is that a petabyte of data is a whole lot of freakin' data; it's 1024 terabytes. Consumer hard drives nowadays top out at 3 TB, with 1 TB holding the sweet spot. Enterprise deployments are more likely to use the faster and more reliable SAS drives (at smaller capacities), but even if you try to build out your storage with cheaper consumer-grade gear, it's a lot of data.
Put another way, if you tried to store a petabyte of data on dual-layer Blu-ray discs (50 GB each), it would take almost 21,000 discs to fit it all... and Apple just bought 12 of those. Especially when you add the concerns of redundancy, indexing, cold spares and all the other infrastructure concerns of enterprise storage, that is a lot of data space. It'll be interesting to see what they do with all of that storage.
[via All Things D]