Sun has announced that <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=187002434">Solaris will be updated</a> with 128-bit file system addressing. Sun is calling it the Zettabyte File System. A zettabyte is one sextillion bytes. How big is that? Enough to address "all the disks currently on the planet," says a Sun guy. Ooh, doesn't it just give you tingles when geeks talk numbers like that!

David DeJean, Contributor

May 2, 2006

1 Min Read

Sun has announced that Solaris will be updated with 128-bit file system addressing. Sun is calling it the Zettabyte File System. A zettabyte is one sextillion bytes. How big is that? Enough to address "all the disks currently on the planet," says a Sun guy. Ooh, doesn't it just give you tingles when geeks talk numbers like that!Actually I'm a little confused. I remember when 64-bit operating systems came in, the big news was that they could address far more virtual memory than 32-bit OSes, which could only create 4 billion unique addresses.

But Sun isn't talking about virtual memory, it's talking about file addressing, which, silly me, I thought was something different. Sun is also saying that computer systems don't really NEED 128-bit adressing, that 64-bit will be good enough for the next 10 years or so.

I think they're wrong there. I read somewhere the other day that companies are increasing their storage capacity at the rate of 50 percent a year (possibly because of Sarbanes-Oxley, but also possibly because of all the spam emails people forget to delete). That means the number of all the drives on the planet is more than doubling every two years. Sun guys, are you sure 128 is enough bits?

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