Saint Peter’s Hard Drive

Hard Drive Cover removed Ⓒ Wikicommons

The total number of people who ever lived is estimated to be around 106 billions people. If we assume that the book of one man’s life is on average the size of the Bible, to store the book of all the lives of all men that ever lived, you would need 106’000’000’000 × 4381 × 1024 bytes, which is approximately 422 exabytes, this should be easily compressible to 100 exabytes. The largest hard-drives on the market today are 2 terabytes, (like for instance the Western Digital Caviar 2TB), so you would need 50’000 of those.

That’s not really convenient to use, but what if you use cloud computing? Amazon’s S3 storage service is 0.080$ per GB per month starting from 4000TB. So storing all the people’s record would cost .080 × 100 × 1024 × 1024 = 8’388’608, roughly 8.4 millions dollars per month. Now, you know why the Vatican needs all this money…

Next time, we will calculate the bandwidth costs for all the people’s lives.

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