Portrait of Ant Rowstron

Ant Rowstron

Distinguished Engineer / Deputy Lab Director


Please visit my external current homepage: here (opens in new tab).

If you are looking for a publication please look here: publication list (opens in new tab) or on Google Scholar (opens in new tab).

I am a Distinguished Engineer and Deputy Lab Director at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK, and I lead a team looking at future technologies for the cloud (opens in new tab). Many of the projects we run in the team are focused on creating and exploring new optical-based technologies for the cloud across storage, networking and compute (for more information see #OpticsForTheCloud (opens in new tab)). Examples of the sort of projects the lab does are Project Silica (opens in new tab), which is looking at how to store data in Fused Silica (basically glass) as a replacement for tape for long term archival storage and Project HSD (opens in new tab) that is looking into how holographic storage can be used in the cloud.

I am a systems researcher who has spent most of my career working at the intersection of Storage, Networking, and Distributed Systems. More recently I have been learning a lot about Optical Systems. During my career, I have been fortunate enough to work several areas, including structured overlays or Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs), wireless routing protocols and even Robot Football (RoboCup’98). I worked with Peter Druschel on one of the original DHTs, called Pastry (opens in new tab) (Middleware’01 and awarded their 10 year test of time award in 2011) and on one of the first highly distributed key-value stores (PAST (opens in new tab) SOSP’01).

I was deeply honored to be awarded in 2016 the ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award (opens in new tab) and then in 2021 the ACM EuroSys Lifetime Achievement Award (opens in new tab). In May of 2010 I was elected as a Fellow of the British Computer Society and in Sept 2020 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. (opens in new tab)