Bring it on ! Some data storage capacity estimates


In todays TED talk Monroe estimates that Google has a capacity of 10 Exabytes (10^19 bytes) of data storage. Unsure whether this is true, but it’s a thought-through guess. So our challenge is big: 10 Exabytes is a million farmers of 10 TB each on average. Or ten million farmers of 1TB on average obviously. Weirdly enough that is not at all impossible, but it is one hell of a growth curve for SAFE !

It’s important to note that Google’s business model is tracking everyone worldwide and hence breaking our privacy. Lucikly SAFE does not care about who you are, so we only have to store real content. That probably cuts off half of the capacity needs already; but let’s go with the full 10EB anyways, because the amount increases exponentially.

Another useful number I found from ABI Research is on cloud services combined:

ABI Research forecasts that the active accounts associated with personal cloud storage services will exceed 1 billion at the end of 2013, nearly twice as many as a year ago. Over the next five years the global account base will more than triple, reaching 3.61 billion by the end of 2018. In the meantime, the aggregated data storage utilized by personal cloud services is expected to increase from 685 petabytes in 2013 to 3,520 petabytes in 2018.

So this is maybe more to the point for private storage on SAFE (previously known as NSA controlled cloud storage): 0.685 EB in 2013, so for ease of use let’s say 1 EB today.

To compare this last number, Facebook get 350 million pictures uploaded per day. I downloaded the first picture on my timeline to see it was 75KB (Facebook rescaled). So that makes 9.6PB per year, which is easily covered by the 685PB mentioned earlier.

** So SAFE has roughly a 1 to 10 ratio for private to public data, which seems plausible. So if we get 10 million farmers (at 1TB) we have collectively already overshadowed the full commercial internet services. **

Bring it on! Let’s build this !

NOTE: this a very quick back-of-the-envelop reasoning. I no doubt made several mistakes, so feel free to correct and flesh out!

It also makes you wonder about other numbers: what amount of internet traffic can we hope for the SAFE network to push through the cables? From a Cisco report I got these numbers.

Annual global IP traffic will pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2015, and will reach 1.4 zettabytes per year by 2017. In 2015, global IP traffic will reach 1.0 zettabytes per year or 83.8 exabytes per month, and by 2017, global IP traffic will reach 1.4 zettabytes per year or 120.6 exabytes per month

But I’m not sure how to estimate SAFE network traffic. I’m still thinking on that, so I’ll leave it here for others to continue.


Would just like to add…

Data storage will continue to grow exponentially.
One of our restraints is ISP controlled bandwith. I really like the idea mesh networking.
If we can get rid of these “roadblocks” we’ll really open up the speed of this network.

So yes, Bring it on!


SAFE can become a very strong weapon in the fight for Net Neutrality. It should become too important to be blocked or slowed down, but every ISP will be completely in the dark about what information is transferred on their network.

I think mesh networking is clearly one of the next steps. I really liked the proposal some guys made early february on, but this is a layer lower then SAFE