Microsoft Cloud Computing Scale Holographic Storage Project

Cloud Computing is eating the IT world and 125 zettabytes of data will be generated annually by 2024.

Microsoft Research Cambridge and Microsoft Azure are developing new cloud-first optical storage technologies. For a few years, Microsoft Project Silica has been developing an optical storage technology that uses glass storage media. Glass media would be used for write once read many (WORM) archival storage.

They already have 1.8x higher density than the state of the art for volumetric holographic storage.

The smallest unit of deployment in cloud storage is the storage rack. Microsoft is focused on rack-scale holographic storage.

They want high density and fast access rates. They are using high-power fiber laser systems to reduce the write and read times by over an order of magnitude to support high access rates. The latest high-resolution LCOS spatial light modulators and cameras used in the smartphone industry are used increase the density. High-resolution camera technology will remove the need for complex optical hardware and software.

In 2018, Project Silica was talking 50 terabytes being stored in one square inch.

SOURCES- Microsoft, CNET
Written By Brian Wang,

5 thoughts on “Microsoft Cloud Computing Scale Holographic Storage Project”

  1. Note, this is not a holographic technology. There is no interference between a reference and image beam, only single bits that are "written" at the focus point of a femto second laser. The system writes each bit one by one and the resulting write speed is very slow.

    Writing 75 GB of the "superman" movie took more than a week which is about 120 kBits per second, i.e. stone age speed.

  2. Rack = stamp. Microsoft deploys in multi-stamp units, usually 20 or so. WORM technology at a stamp level is interesting, but I wonder how that would play with their overlay network (VXLAN) and leaf-spine architecture. We'll see.

  3. And in 2001: a Space Odyssey.

    Crystals or glass slabs have been a common trope for futuristic storage/computing for a while.

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