Up until reading this post by Justin Parisi, I’ll admit I was always a little confused when I saw people write GiB instead of GB. I think I rationalized it as a stylized choice, people trying to be a little extra cute in their writing. Or perhaps it had something to do with the context of presenting that number. Forgive my ignorance, but I didn’t think they were a totally separate measure.
Really what this signifies is a significant difference in how storage is measured, binary vs decimal. Obviously I’m not the only one confused. NetApp recently fixed a bug in ONTAP that displayed binary storage figures with a decimal description.
As Justin points out, make sure you look at what a storage company is actually representing in their capacity figures. Assuming decimal, even if more common, could leave you with significantly less if you’re wrong.
Justin Parisi comments:
What happens when you use decimal vs. binary to measure storage? Well, it can mean that what you thought was 316GB of storage is really only 288GiB – depending on how the vendor has decided to display it.
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