When you’re offering up as much content as Apple does–thousands of TV shows and movies, millions of songs and downloads–you need somewhere to house it. According to storage industry reports, the iPad makers have acquired 12 petabytes of storage for video content in the iTunes ecosystem. This may go hand in hand with Apple’s announced plans to open a data center dedicated to iTunes and MobileMe, if it’s not in fact the same thing. The space comes courtesy of storage firm Isilon Systems, who also serve NBC Universal and Clear Channel. This deal makes Apple Isilon’s biggest client.
For some perspective, a petabyte is 1000 terabytes, or one million gigabytes. That’s enough to support 62,500 16GB iPads. And, while all that space certainly could be for video, this could point to a sizable increase in Apple’s already robust TV and movie rental business. Of course, those petabytes could also be used for the cloud-based content lockers that Apple have been rumored to be launching. However Apple uses the space, chances are they’ll be needing even more petabytes as future plans develop.