Optics for the cloud: storage in the zettabyte era with Dr. Ant Rowstron and Mark Russinovich

Remember when a hard drive that could hold a terabyte of data was a big deal? Well, we’re now in an era where peta-, exa- and even zetta-bytes are the bytes of the day, and it turns out it’s hard to fit that many zeroes on a hard drive. That’s where Dr. Ant Rowstron, Deputy Lab Director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, and Mark Russinovich, Chief Technical Officer of Azure, come in. Their respective teams are working on paradigm-breaking solutions to give us phenomenal storage power in an itty-bitty living space. Today, Ant and Mark discuss their roles in the development of new optical technologies, like Project Silica, for cloud-scale storage demands, and talk about the Optics for the Cloud Research Alliance, an exciting new collaboration between academic researchers and MSR. They also explain how just the right mix of innovation and engineering can make the cloud more powerful and less expensive to use and, at the same time, deliver “forever” storage that’s both dishwasher and microwave safe!