What is a Petabyte

What is a Petabyte?

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In order to understand what a petabyte is, we need to begin at the beginning!

As you probably already know, a single byte is one unit of storage, whether on a hard disk, database or what have you. On a basic level, one byte is equivalent to one character.

A kilobyte is approximately one thousand bytes (kilo means 1,000). Since computers are binary (base two) systems, we have to use 2 to the power of 10 which is 1,024. So in reality, one kilobyte (KB) is 1,024 bytes.

If we use the following chart, we can see how we get to Megabytes (MB), Gigabytes (GB), Terabytes (TB) and finally Petabytes (PB) from a single byte:

1 KB (Kilobyte) = 1,024 bytes or 2^10
1 MB (Megabyte) = 1,024 KB or 2^20
1 GB (Gigabyte) = 1,024 MB or 2^30
1 TB (Terrabyte) = 1,024 GB or 2^40
1 PB (Petabyte) = 1,024 TB or 2^50

Therefore, 1 Petabyte (PB) = 1,024 TB = 1024*1024 GB = 1024*1024*1024 MB = 1024*1024*1024*1024 KB = 1024*1024*1024*1024*1024 bytes = 1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes or roughly 1,000 trillion bytes!!!

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