photo stockage donnees holographique

Microsoft Unveils Revolutionary Holographic Data Storage System

On September 23, during the 2020 edition of the ignite conference, Microsoft has reaffirmed its ambition to become the market leader in cloud computing. In this sense, the American giant notably presented the HSD system: an ingenious system allowing large-scale storage of data using optical crystals.

Microsoft intends to rely on its innovation capabilities to get ahead, Amazon AWS, its eternal competitor in the Cloud market. Faced with the growing demand for storage space expressed by individuals and large companies, the American firm wants to offer a more environmentally friendly alternative, but also more efficient.

The Natick and SIlica project: founding projects

It is particularly with this in mind that Microsoft has launched numerous promising projects in recent years. Already in 2015, the company launched the idea of ​​creating a submerged data center powered by the tide and equipped with seawater cooled servers.

The necessary infrastructure was built the following year and two years later, in 2018, Microsoft brought its servers to the surface. Against all expectations, the Natick project proved that companies operating in the data storage sector could drastically reduce the environmental impacts of their activities and even rely on renewable energies.

In 2019, Microsoft had also implemented the SIlica project. This aimed to develop an energy-efficient system allowing the storage of rarely accessed data. This solution of “ cold storage» comes in the form of a device giving the ways to store data on a small glass cube. As a demonstration, the engineers simply used this process to store the Superman film on a block of glass. A nod intended to recall the crystals used by the Kryptonians.

The storage medium in question gives the possibility of storing a fairly large volume of data. We can then delete the stored information using UV beams and then reuse crystal.

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Microsoft Project HSD, a major innovation in the field of cloud storage

THE HSD Project is the logical continuation of the Silica project. This time, Microsoft engineers tried to create an innovative “hot storage” system. The objectives are always to find an alternative less energy consuming, but more efficient to flash storage. It is in this context that the technicians opted for the holographic storage.

Contrary to popular belief, this technology is not new, it saw the light of day in the early 1960s. However, until now, it was impossible to take full advantage of its potential. Indeed, the interpretation of the data required the use of high-performance devices capable of reproducing in real time each pixel present on the crystal.

Today, the latest generation photo sensors associated with deep learning methods help to overcome commonly encountered difficulties. This solution guarantees a fast data processing in addition to an almost zero risk of failure. Since the medium used does not present any mechanical part, we can say goodbye to reading errors linked to hardware failure.

Apart from its reliability and its performances which are out of the ordinary, holographic data storage also has a much more attractive cost for market giants. Apart from the savings generated by the use of an energy-efficient system, the company also saves money by using storage media with low production costs.

Considering its performance, this project should be the cornerstone of future Microsoft data centers. It remains to be seen whether Amazon is also planning a similar system to preserve its market share.

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