Zynga serves over 1 Petabytes per day and other nerdy numbers

It may not be as sexy as McDonalds claim of over “99 billion served,” but Zynga’s CTO now claims that they move over 1 Petebyte of data per day as reported by TechCrunch.

For the non-techies among us (or, those who do not stay up late to watch old Dr. Who episodes) a Petabyte is equal to one quadrillion bytes (1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).

Other techie tidbits shared by Zynga CTO Cadir at Oracle’s OpenWorld Conference today were that Zynga adds on average 1000 new servers a week to handle its growing traffic and 10% of the world’s Internet population has played a Zynga game.

These numbers are quite impressive considering Zynga did not exist as a company just a mere two or three years ago.

The sheer size of these numbers raises a bunch of questions in my head.

Is Zynga adding 1000 servers a week in order to play catch-up for their previous growth spurt (when their games were crashing daily) or to support current game growth (still growing but slower than a year ago)?

Just as important, is 1 petabyte of data a true number? Is there anyone who clicked on the title of this article that has ever heard of a “petabyte” until today? I am not accusing anyone of making that 1 petabyte per day figure up, but seriously, how do you calculate that?

What I don’t doubt is how bullish Zynga is about their future. You don’t add 1000 servers per week unless you believe you are going to need it since it’s not fun or inexpensive to do. You also don’t add that server capability if all you plan to be is create social games that run on other networks such as Google or Facebook.

Zynga is obviously scaling up for Zynga Live, its own social gaming network service. While Google targets Facebook and Facebook targets Google, they should not ignore the fact that Zynga is pushing 1 Petabyte of data a day before they launch their own game service.

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