Big Data, Vatican Style

Holy crap! EMC gives Vatican Library 2.8PB to store manuscripts • The Register.

This is a pretty cool story.  The linked video on the page paints the picture nicely.  The Vatican has 82,000 manuscripts of roughly 500 pages each with their high resolution scans requiring up to 150 megabytes of storage per page image.  The librarian, Luciano Ammenti, explains that this will require 45 petabytes of storage.  Let’s think about that massive problem for a minute…

82,000 manuscripts * 500 pages per manuscript * 150 MB per page = ~6.45 petabytes

So, not 45 petabytes but 6?  Well that’s why Luciano is a librarian and not a data center guy.  Wait, what?  Luciano IS the Vatican Library Data Center Coordinator?


  • 6.45PB * 2 for RAID-1 protection = 12.9PB
  • 12.9PB * 3 for one primary and two remote replicas = 38.7PB

Ok, that’s closer but something is still not right with Luciano’s math.  It’s still darned impressive, though.

I can’t wait to browse the virtual collection.  As if one more reason for me to troll the Internet is a good thing.  It’s not, but I’ll squeeze it in somehow.

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