Before that I have held positions in finance, dealing with realtime transaction processing. We did not work in petabytes.
If you are working in petabytes you are storing crap in your production database, and 99% of that data is wasted.
Collecting high resolution and filtering down to low resolution for lower importance is still difficult and can require petabytes for real world use cases
This get large rather fast when processing time series from multiple sensors.
But I agree with you otherwise, and it's not like you're storing satellite products in a database.
Now I'm curious what NSA is using :).
See (History): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Accumulo