Gmail: How Do They Have So Much Space?

I was looking at my Gmail account yesterday, and noticed they were up to around 2.7 gigs of email space. So that got me thinking, how many users does Gmail have? Well after doing some research, I found some estimates that Gmail had around ~50 million users. So let’s do the math. claims to offer 2747 MBs of space. Gmail has an estimated ~50 million users. 50,000,000 * 2747 =

  • 1152175308800000000 bits
  • 144021913600000000 bytes
  • 140646400000000 kilobytes
  • 137350000000 megabytes
  • 134130859.37500 gigabytes
  • 130987.167358 terabytes
  • 127.9171556 petabytes

I know this is Google we’re talking about, but come on is this possible? I was reading their website, in order to find out how many users they had, when I found this:

You may organize or delete your messages through your Gmail account or terminate your account through the Google Account section of Gmail settings. Such deletions or terminations will take immediate effect in your account view. Residual copies of deleted messages and accounts may take up to 60 days to be deleted from our active servers and may remain in our offline backup systems.

So now not only do we have 127.91 petabytes of hard drive space for Gmail users, but offline backup server(s). Does this mean all of 127.91 petabytes of data is also backed up at least once offline somewhere? If everyone started using products such as Gmail Drive, would Google be able to handle it? Speaking of Gmail drive, it is actually quite an impressive idea. It allows you to create a virtual partition in My Computer, to drag and drop files to. It then sends you an email with the attachment to your inbox. Like they say on their website you can create a filter to automatically archive these emails. Only thing I’d be worrying about with this software is saving my password. Not sure if it’s encrypted or not, their site doesn’t say and I couldn’t find my password anywhere. Remember, over 2747.349825 megabytes (and counting) of free storage so you’ll never need to delete another message. I’m holding them to that.