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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. 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). Examples of the sort of projects the lab does are Project Silica, 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 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 (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 SOSP’01).
I was deeply honored to be awarded in 2016 the ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award and then in 2021 the ACM EuroSys Lifetime Achievement Award. 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.
Microsoft Research Podcast
Episode 97 | November 6, 2019 - 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.