Examples of the use of the petabyte to describe data sizes in different fields are:
The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2,200 petabytes in 2000, and 65,000 (optimally compressed) petabytes in 2007 (this is the informational equivalent to every person exchanging 6 newspapers per day).
Computer hardware: Teradata Database 12 has a capacity of 50 petabytes of compressed data.
Internet: Google processed about 24 petabytes of data per day in 2009. The BBC'siPlayer is reported to use 7 petabytes of bandwidth each month.Imgur transfers about 4 petabytes of data per month. Yahoo stores 2 petabytes of data on behavior. Netflix uses 1 petabyte to store the videos for streaming.
Telecoms: AT&T transfers about 30 petabytes of data through its networks each day.
Neurology: It is estimated that the human brain's ability to store memories is equivalent to about 2.5 petabytes of binary data.
As of April 2009, Facebook users had uploaded over 15 billion photos which made Facebook the biggest photo sharing website. For each uploaded photo, Facebook generates and stores four images of different sizes, which translated to a total of 60 billion images and 1.5 petabytes of storage, to date this will be even greater.
Archives: The Internet Archive contains about 10 petabytes in cultural material as of October 2012, having grown more than 190 terabytes per month since reaching 5.8 petabytes in December 2010. It was growing at the rate of about 100 terabytes per month in March 2009.
Games: World of Warcraft uses 1.3 petabytes of storage to maintain its game.Steam, a digital gaming service developed by Valve, delivers over 50 petabytes of content weekly.
Film: The 2009 movie Avatar is reported to have taken over 1 petabyte of local storage at Weta Digital for the rendering of the 3D CGI effects.
In August 2011, IBM was reported to have built the largest storage array ever, with a capacity of 120 petabytes.
In January 2012, Cray began construction of the Blue Waters Supercomputer, which will have a capacity of 500 petabytes making it the largest storage array ever if realized.
In July 2012 it was revealed that CERN amassed about 200 petabytes of data from the more than 800 trillion collisions looking for the Higgs boson.
At its 2012 closure of file storage services, Megaupload held ~28 petabytes of user uploaded data.
In August 2012, Facebook's Hadoop clusters include the largest single HDFS cluster known, with more than 100 PB physical disk space in a single HDFS filesystem.
In May 2013, Microsoft announces that as part of their migration of Hotmail accounts to the new Outlook.com email system, they'd migrated over 150 Petabytes of user data in six weeks.
2013 - One petabyte is enough to store the DNA of the entire population of the USA - with cloning it twice.
2013 - BitTorrent Sync has transferred over 30 petabytes of data since its pre-alpha release in January 2013.
One petabyte of average MP3-encoded songs (for mobile, roughly one megabyte per minute), each lasting for roughly 4 minutes, would require 2000 years to play.
^Paul Rubens (20 September 2004). "Thanks for memory (but I need more)". BBC News. "Of course there's no such thing as a petabyte iPod, but the good news is that we may not have too long to wait for one. Hitachi Data Systems already sells a product called the TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform which can manage up to 32 petabytes of storage for the very largest corporations, so you'd have to conclude that a pocket-sized consumer version isn't out of the question in a decade or so."
^"10,000,000,000,000,000 bytes archived!". Collections Team blog. Internet Archive. October 26, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-27. "On Thursday, 25 October, hundreds of Internet Archive supporters, volunteers, and staff celebrated addition of the 10,000,000,000,000,000th byte to the Archive’s massive collections."