Apple has just placed an order for 12 petabytes of storage from Isilon Systems. Speculation is that the vast amount of storage will be for Apple’s North Carolina data center, which will be the home to new cloud-based storage options for iTunes as well as for social networking integration for iPhone and Mobile Me accounts.
To comprehend how large 12 petabytes is, that storage is equivalent to 12,000 terabytes, or enough to hold 160 years worth of HD video, according to All Things D.
Apple has been rumored to be vamping up its North Carolina data center for newer cloud-based online services, and the order of massive amounts of storage would coincide with the Cupertino, California company’s plans. There has been a lot of speculation as to when Apple would launch a digital locker for iTunes purchases so users can stream purchased music and videos with an Internet connection to mobile devices rather than locally store the content on their devices. Google is expected to also launch a similar digital content strategy and Amazon had beaten both companies with the launch of its Amazon Cloud Player and Cloud Storage solutions.
Apple is also speculated to be working on a social networking feature that will allow iPhone owners to stream their captured photos to other iPhone owners who subscribe to the user’s Photo Stream.