Microsoft Research Cambridge and Microsoft Azure are developing new cloud-first optical storage technologies. For a few years, Microsoft Project Silica has been developing an optical storage technology that uses glass storage media. Glass media would be used for write once read many (WORM) archival storage.
They already have 1.8x higher density than the state of the art for volumetric holographic storage.
The smallest unit of deployment in cloud storage is the storage rack. Microsoft is focused on rack-scale holographic storage.
They want high density and fast access rates. They are using high-power fiber laser systems to reduce the write and read times by over an order of magnitude to support high access rates. The latest high-resolution LCOS spatial light modulators and cameras used in the smartphone industry are used increase the density. High-resolution camera technology will remove the need for complex optical hardware and software.