Digital Storage Calculator

The table below provides a way to calculate physical storage space of paper documents and electronic storage space of scanned documents.

Digital Storage Calculator


Pages are letter size 8 1/2 by 11 inches, A4. Boxes are 15 1/2 long x 12 wide x 10 deep, 400 x 300 x 250 mm. File Cabinets are 4 drawer. Linear Inches is calculated as paper stacked on it side as in a file cabinet or box. LinearInches is assumed to be paper stored loose enough for active filing. Paper stored for archive would take 25% less space. Trees are 1 pulp tree (loblolly pine). CDs are based on 700 MB per CD. DVDs are based on 4.7 GB per DVD. Thumb Drives are based on 64 GB per Thumb Drive.  Hard Drives are based on 1 TB per Hard Drive. These size estimates are based on actual system metrics taken over a long period of time. Storage is a small part of total system cost, so even moderate errors in size estimates do not affect overall system cost very much. After even one percent of a project’s documents have been scanned, a very accurate estimate of the per document and per file cabinet (etc.) can be made. If the actual size of the digital images of the average scanned document is 10 percent larger than the above estimate, then the overall storage system estimate can be increased by 10 percent (with very little effect on overall system cost).

These metrics are also chosen in rounded form so that system estimates come out to exact rounded numbers which make the systems easier to describe and discuss. These metrics are of greatest benefit in bringing design meetings to closure on the topic of system sizing by eliminating the need to discuss (ad infinitum) whether the average size of an image is 50 or 51 Kilobytes.

Balance Imaging makes no warranties or representations to the accuracy of the information provided and should be used as an estimatation purposes only.