How to store a petabyte?

Roberto Mello rmello at
Tue Feb 20 21:32:21 MST 2007

On Tue, Feb 20, 2007 at 04:47:08PM -0700, Ryan Byrd wrote:
> Let's say I need to store a petabyte of data. I need fast access (tape/DVDs
> aren't fast enough) and redundancy like RAID.
> How should I do it? Initially the data will be in large (several MB) binary
> objects and could be stored as files, but eventually, it will need to be
> placed into a relational database like Oracle.

I posed this question to a couple people who have worked or work with such
large amounts of data. They suggested the following:

Approach one:

- 4U boxes with 24 disk bays each
- Lots of SATA drives

Would come to about 1 million. I would ditch the redundancy in favor of a 
tape backup.

Approach two:

- Talk to these guys:

No idea on pricing. My friend who worked at Isilon says they are really

As Jonathan pointed out, the hard thing will be figuring out how to do
useful things with this data. Oracle will want to charge a lot.


And Adam asked "What's a Headache?"

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