What is an Exabyte?

May 19, 2023 - (Free)

An exabyte is made up of bytes, which themselves are units of digital storage. A byte is made up of 8 bits. A bit—short for binary digit—is a single unit of data. Namely a 1, or a 0.

The International System of Units (SI) denotes “exa” as a multiplication by the sixth power of 1000 or (1018).

In other words, 1 exabyte (EB) = 1018bytes = 1,0006bytes = 1000000000000000000 bytes = 1,000 petabytes = 1 million terabytes = 1 billion gigabytes. Overwhelmed by numbers yet?


What is an Exabyte

Exabytes are digital storage units that are equal to 1,000 petabytes or one billion gigabytes (GB). It is a very big storage unit that is used to assess the storage capacity of large data centers and cloud storage providers.

Here are some examples of how much data may be stored in an exabyte:

  • 100 years of high-definition video
  • 200 million high-resolution photos
  • 100 million books
  • 100 billion web pages

Exabytes are becoming more prevalent as the amount of data we generate and store increases. The global datasphere was forecast to be 64.2 zettabytes (ZB) in 2020, with a projected increase to 175 ZB by 2025. The rising usage of cloud computing, social media, and mobile devices is driving this growth.

Exabytes of storage are also utilized to store and distribute huge media assets like movies and television episodes. This enables users with broadband connections to broadcast high-quality video material over the internet.

Exabyte Converted to Other Units

Exabyte values are listed below, where an exabyte is defined as 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1018) bytes. For a list of exabyte values, see our EiB (exbibyte) definition, where an exabyte is equal to 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 (260) bytes.

EB (Exabyte) Value
Exabytes in a bit (b) 0.000000000000000001
Exabytes in a nibble (N) 0.000000000000000001
Exabytes in a byte (B) 8.67361738e-19
Exabytes in a kilobit (Kb) 0.000000000000001
Exabytes in a kilobyte (KB) 0.000000000000001
Exabytes in a kibibit (Kib) 0.000000000000001
Exabytes in a kibibyte (KiB) 0.00000000000001
Exabytes in a megabit (Mb) 0.000000000001
Exabytes in a megabyte (MB) 0.000000000001
Exabytes in a mebibit (Mib) 0.000000000001
Exabytes in a mebibyte (MiB) 0.00000000001
Exabytes in a gigabit (Gb) 0.000000000125
Exabytes in a gigabyte (GB) 0.000000001
Exabytes in a gibibit (Gib) 0.000000001
Exabytes in a gibibyte (GiB) 1.073741824e-09
Exabytes in a terabit (Tb) 0.000000125
Exabytes in a terabyte (TB) 0.000001
Exabytes in a tebibit (Tib) 1.374389536e-07
Exabytes in a tebibyte (TiB) 1.099511628e-06
Exabytes in a petabit (Pb) 0.000125
Exabytes in a petabyte (PB) 0.001
Exabytes in a pebibit (Pib) 0.0001407374883
Exabytes in a pebibyte (PiB) 0.0001407374883
Exabytes in an exabit (Eb) 0.125
Exabytes in an exabyte (EB) 1
Exabytes in an exbibit (Eib) 0.144115188
Exabytes in an exbibyte (EiB) 1.1529215
Exabytes in a zettabyte (ZB) 1,000
Exabytes in a yottabyte (YB) 1,000,000

Exabyte Compared to Larger Data Sizes

Memory size units are commonly divided into two types: binary and decimal. The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) recommends the binary standard because it more exactly maps storage capabilities and is better suited to data carriers. The decimal prefix is more widespread and is based on the SI (“International System of Units”), however it reflects rounded, less exact data values. The fact that decimal prefixes are also used for binary values adds to the confusion. Binary prefixes, on the other hand, have yet to gain traction.

The eight official units of measurement for byte powers are as follows:

Binary prefix (IEC) In byte + conversion factor
Kibibyte (KiB) 1,024 (210)
Mebibyte (MiB) 1,048,576 (220)
Gibibyte (GiB) 1,073,741,824 (230)
Tebibyte (TiB) 1,099,511,627,776 (240)
Pebibyte (PiB) 1,125,899,906,842,624 (250)
Exbibyte (EiB) 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 (260)
Zebibyte (ZiB) 1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 (270)
Yobibyte (YiB) 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 (280)
Decimal prefix (SI) In byte + conversion factor
Kilobyte (KB) 1,000 (103)
Megabyte (MB) 1,000,000 (106)
Gigabyte (GB) 1,000,000,000 (109)
Terabyte (TB) 1,000,000,000,000 (1012)
Petabyte (PB) 1,000,000,000,000,000 (1015)
Exabyte (EB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1018)
Zettabyte (ZB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1021)
Yottabyte (YB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1024)

Usage of Exabyte

The Exabyte is commonly used in the applications listed below.

  • Big Data: Exabytes are required for storing and analyzing huge volumes of data created by IoT, social media, scientific research, and other sources.
  • Cloud Storage: Many cloud storage providers provide consumers and businesses with exabyte-level storage choices. This enables the storage of massive volumes of data in a centralized location that is accessible from anywhere on the planet.
  • High-Performance Computing: Exabyte storage is utilized in High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications where massive amounts of data must be swiftly accessible and processed.
  • Scientific Research: Exabytes are used to estimate the storage capacity required for data preservation in scientific research, which generates massive volumes of data.
  • Video Streaming: Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video store their massive library of movies and TV shows on exabyte-level storage.

How Big is an Exabyte in the Real World

To put the size of an exabyte in context, consider that one exabyte can carry nearly 250 million DVDs. If you stacked all of the DVDs that an exabyte can hold, the stack would be over 1,600 miles tall. If you watched all of the data stored on an exabyte of information constantly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take over 22 years.

An exabyte is a massive amount of data that is difficult to comprehend in terms of digital information. It is frequently used to define the volume of data produced by large-scale operations such as scientific research, big data analysis, and cloud computing. A single human genome sequence, for example, can use up to 200 gigabytes (GB) of data, and storing and interpreting large volumes of genomic data necessitates massive amounts of storage, commonly measured in exabytes.

Exabytes are employed in the entertainment industry in addition to scientific research and big data processing. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, for example, require vast quantities of data storage to operate. Netflix, for example, is said to keep roughly 60 petabytes of content, or 0.06 exabytes.

Exabyte-scale storage solutions will become increasingly crucial as technology advances and the amount of data generated and stored increases. Cloud computing and data storage providers will continue to push the boundaries of what is feasible, allowing individuals and companies to store, manage, and analyze massive amounts of data.


A very large unit of data storage is called an exabyte. It is equal to one trillion gigabytes or one thousand petabytes. Exabytes are a unit of measurement for large data centers’ and cloud storage providers’ storage capacities. They are also employed to gauge the volume of data produced by significant institutions like search engines and social media firms. Exabytes will be used more frequently as our ability to generate and store data increases.