Microsoft’s Project HSD is completely holographic storage for the cloud
Microsoft is not only seeking to satisfy the seemingly unstoppable demand for cloud storage on flash memory and hard drives. Yesterday, at the Ignite conference, the company announced a project called HSD (via ZDNet), which is a new research project aimed at exploring how holographic storage can ultimately be used in cloud computing.
Although it sounds far-fetched, the concept of holographic storage has been around since the 1960s. But now, Microsoft believes that the media can be used effectively due to the rise of smartphone cameras.
As described in the video above, holographic storage works by writing and reading data from optical crystals. Since it is a three-dimensional storage medium, you can store various data sets in a crystal.
After that, it can be wiped clean with ultraviolet light and reused. Technically speaking, this is a better solution than flash memory. Flash memory has limited read and writes functions, and hard drives are prone to mechanical failure.
However, the disadvantage is that holographic storage traditionally requires complex optics to accomplish things such as one-to-one pixel matching from the crystal to the camera that reads it.
But things are different now. Microsoft researchers explained: “Today, we can use commercial high-resolution cameras and modern deep learning technology to transfer complexity to the digital realm.”
“This allows us to use simpler and cheaper optics without pixel matching. , And use commodity hardware and software to compensate for the resulting optical distortion.”
You can think of Project HSD as a potential solution for “hot storage” in which data needs to be written and read repeatedly.
Last year, Microsoft also demonstrated Project Silica as a “cold storage” solution for archives. The technology only writes data once and is rarely accessed.
To demonstrate the capabilities of this technology, the company archived the movie “Superman” on a glass plaza, which should be more reliable than physical movies or archive copies stored in typical data centers.