Apple orders 12PB of storage capacity for iTunes Store video

“Apple ordered as much as 12PB of capacity from Isilon Systems, notably to manage the video download of its customers using iTunes, according to an inside source of the new division of EMC,” Jean-Jacques Maleval reports for

“It’s probably the largest of its 1,500 customers recorded at the end of December, including 20% in Europe,” Maleval reports.

Full article, with a list of Isilon’s other 181 known clients, here.

MacDailyNews Note: 1 petabyte (PB) = 1,000,000 gigabytes (GB)

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]


    1. Presumably they’re not running OSX in their data centers since the Xserve is no longer around. Unless they put together special internal builds for the hardware they buy. Wouldn’t be too hard I suppose.

    1. OWC recently had bare 1 TB drives for just over US$50. Granted Apple isn’t buying just bare drives, but is this transaction is being made to seem bigger than it really was?

        1. I’ve been buying Mac-related computer equipment from OWC for myself and my clients for more than 7 years now, and have found them to be a top notch reseller in terms of quality and reliability. I recommend them highly. What’s your beef with them?

        2. Ordered memory for a Mac based on THEIR OWN specifications page. Turned out to be wrong memory. Had to request an RMA. RMA arrived while I was on vacation. Shipped memory back as soon as I returned. It arrived a day after their deadline on the RMA. They SHIPPED IT BACK TO ME! No phone call, no leeway, no value placed on customer good will or word of mouth (like here) advertising. They suggested I sell it on eBay, which I did for 50% of purchase price. NEVER AGAIN!

        3. I call BS.
          “RMA arrived while I was on vacation” — Whether you call to get an RMA or do it via their website, you get the RMA information IMMEDIATELY — no waiting for it to arrive.

          It sounds like you ordered an RMA and then rather than send the item back immediately, you went on vacation, thus delaying the shipping of the return product back to them. They clearly state their RMA policies on their website and in the RMA information they send via email.

          OWC is certainly not perfect (what reseller is?), but why blame them just because you aren’t willing to take personal responsibility for not following their straight-forward instructions?

        4. BS yourself!

          From their web page:

          “Request an RMA Number:
          Please complete the form on this page and your request will be responded to by ***an OWC Customer Service Representative within 24 Business Hours***. Upon approval of the request, you will be issued the Return Merchandise Authorization number that is required to track your merchandise return.”

          Requested via web page on the weekend. Went on vacation that day. Got the RMA number while on vacation. Shipped the item when I got back. I guess I was supposed to take the chip with me and mail it from Glacier Park? Their RMA time limit is 30 days from THE DATE OF PURCHASE, not the date of the RMA, as I found out the hard way.

        5. OWC is fine if nothing goes wrong. If you order the wrong part or it’s defective you’d better start taking Advil for the headaches that will follow.

        6. I guess YMMV. I’ve bought lots of memory (as well as many other products) from them and as expected a couple of items needed to be returned. Never have had a problem with their return or refund process.

        7. Nothing but good things to say here. Had a problem with one of their external drives. The fan seemed really loud. Send an email and they sent me a replacement fan no charge. Then in a different situation, drive kept dropping off the network, so they had me send it back.
          Larry oftentimes comments and helps directly. So, even thought they may be a little pricey sometimes, I still value their business.

      1. Not by the stupid new definitions. by the new definitions, 12PB = 12,000TB and 12PiB = 12288TiB.

        Because hard drive makers had convinced the public that 1 Gigabyte is equal to 1000 Megabytes, they redefined them. Now, that really is how it works. And 1 Gibibyte (GiB) is equal to 1024 Mebibytes (MiB).

        Just to make things as confusing as possible of course, because when speaking about anything other than storage (like RAM or CPU Cache), it’s still the old base 2 system when they say Gigabyte or Megabyte.

        1. This is how it should have been from the beginning.

          The kilo, mega, milli, tera, peta, exa prefixes are all based on the decimal system. It didn’t work well for binary system values.

          They were wrong to say 1 kilobyte = 1024 Bytes from the beginning.

          KiB = kibibyte = binary kilobyte.

          Just because things change, doesn’t mean they used to be right.

  1. With the cash hoard that Apple has, they’d better be the biggest cloud storage capacity client at least by a magnitude. Apple can reach into its back pocket and throw $250 million on the table for a storage solution and sit back and watch the rivals weep.

  2. consumer grade storage is very different from enterprise grade, and more than likely Apple will replace a percentage of this initial purchase every year as the drives age, while adding more capacity.

  3. To put this in perspective that is enough to host approximately 1,600 full to capacity free Gmail accounts. It doesn’t seem that big when you look at it this way.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you’re math is a little off. Gmail currently offers about 7.5GB per account. So 1600 full accounts would be 12,000GB, which is 12TB. And 1PB = 1000TB. Therefore 12PB would be equal to 1.6 million full Gmail accounts.

    2. Another way of putting it:

      According to Wikipedia, as of 2009 the entire Internet is about 500 Exabytes. So that would mean this order is 0.0024% of the entire Internet (at least in 2009).

  4. 12 PB isn’t that much, actually. Not for a world-wide data centre supposed to support millions of customers as digital locker. But it depends on if you are only allowed to store a few documents (ala free Dropbox account) or if you are encouraged to store your entire iTunes library online. My rather small music library has 20 GB, but movies…. Well that’s a different story. 4TB NAS 1 TB internal HDD.)

    1. But it depends on if you are only allowed to store a few documents (ala free Dropbox account) or if you are encouraged to store your entire iTunes library online.

      Glad to see you came to your senses. Before you decide what that space will be used for, why don’t we let Apple figure it out for us? k killer?

  5. “Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That’s the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim.” — Kirk (Elaan of Troyius)

    err….wrong quote… about this…..

    “Now this is a drink for a man.” — Scotty
    “Scotch?” — Checkov
    “Aye.” — Scotty
    “It vas inwented by a little old lady in Lenningrad.” — Checkov

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