IBM are putting together the largest data drive on the planet, with some 200,000 hard drives working together to reach a whopping 120 petabyte total.

Data storage is an increasingly valuable currency, especially with the computer world moving into the cloud and becoming less reliant on local storage on people's computers.

IBM's drive project – headed up by director of storage Bruce Hillsberg – will create enough storage to store 24 billion MP3s, and probably the entire run of Coronation Street in HD to boot.

Of course, all that storage means that the engineers at IBM have had to come up with a new backup mechanism to stop bits of data dying when a hard drive fails.

Lunatic fringe

"This 120 petabyte system is on the lunatic fringe now, but in a few years it may be that all cloud computing systems are like it," Hillsberg told the MIT Technology Review.

Even this ridiculously large data drive would not be enough to soak up the world's data for even a day – with Eric Schmidt suggesting recently that the world is now producing five exabytes of data every two days.

An exabyte – as you obviously already know – is 1024 petabytes; which means we'd better get working on even better storage fairly quickly or we won't be able to upload all those funny cat videos.

Technology Review via Engadget