Microsoft's transfer totaled 150 petabytes

As you may have heard, Microsoft has officially completed its transfer of all users of its Hotmail email service to the new site. This resulted in having to transfer a whopping 150 petabytes of data from Hotmail to, which Microsoft said only took six weeks to accomplish.

But you may be saying to yourself: "just how big is 150 petabytes of data?". Sure, you might think that having a 4 TB hard drive inside your PC rig is a lot of storage but that's peanuts compared to the numbers that Microsoft had to deal with.

Thankfully, Microsoft has created a new infographic that gives us an idea of how much data really is contained in 150 petabytes. In the most basic of terms, it's a lot; really, it's a whole big bunch of data. As the infographic shows, it would take a person 300,000 years to listen to 150 petabytes of music on their media player.

If you used to send 50 emails a day, with each email 75 KB in size, it would take you 120 million years to send 150 petabytes worth of emails. By that time, the human race would likely be either extinct or evolve into another form of life that leaves their physical bodies for energy. Yes, we do watch Star Trek.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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If it's 6 mount everest's high for just thin discs, then how high are we talking with a solid hard drive then?

1PB= 1048576 GB or 1024 TB

How big are your ssds? Let's assume they are entry level 128 GB ones.

1048576 / 128 = 8192 drives

1 drive = about 100 mm thick

So if we were to stack them one on top of the other,

8192 * 100 = 819,200 mm or about 2688 feet.

So to answer your question, it would take 403,200 feet of 128 GB SSD's to theoretically store 150 PBs of data because 2688 * 150 = 403,200.

However, you must take into consideration the fact that you don't get 128 GB when you get an HD, it's more like 111 GB in real life, so even then with my numbers above, you won't be able to store 1 full PB. The RAID 0 would also take a good chunck of unusable drive space.

Disclaimer: I have an F in Math class now.

Edited by f0rk_b0mb, May 3 2013, 3:46pm :

Youtube is growing by around 80PB per year so they probably have Exabyte's of data. I do wonder how much of that data is spam. I've got a few old e-mail addresses I don't use anymore that have a few thousand spam mails. I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of this data is spam, 40% files and 10% legit e-mail text.

Edited by Gaffney, May 3 2013, 1:57am :

Well at this point, most of the spam gets caught and put into a spam folder, which I believe is only retained for a limited time before it gets deleted.

Are you including newsletters that you don't want but signed up for at some point when you created a login for a site here? If so its not spam, just unsubscribe.

I get zero actual spam on my Hotmail account, none.

warwagon said,
149 Petabytes of that was probably spam.

A lot of it probably is. Regardless of the spam filters in place, I still get them with every email service I have.

Weird, have had a mail account with Hotmail/Outlook for quite a long time, have never gotten spam from it. Nor GMail. I do keep my private mails separate from random forum signups/etc though, probably helps a lot.. the "random crap" account I never really look at aside from verification mails. Yahoo on the other hand, was getting spam on that a day or three after account creation without ever even using it at the time.

I see this often and its a relative claim which has been well explained, basically if you sign up for a newsletter its not spam - you asked for it (you ticked the box), so any email service automatically spamming this is doing it wrong.

If you mean real spam, as in Viagra and such then I get absolutely zero spam on my 6 year old Hotmail (not outlook) account, I do however get newsletters that I signed up for and if I don't want them I either click the unsubscribe link on the email or tell to automatically sweep them from my inbox.

There's no real pattern I don't think; Some people get spam and others don't.

I don't get spam at all on my Hotmail address.