Cloud storage has now seamlessly entered into our digital lives to such an extent that we neither realize that we are utilizing it in many instances and nor do we comprehend the fact that all this data is being physically stored in hardware whose capacity in increasingly flattening. This problem is compounded by the fact that the amount of data that each of us generate is increasing exponentially.
Even if the infrastructure keeps up with this rising demand, the hardware such as disk drives itself have a lifespan of around five years. This means that to keep the data saved they have to be cyclically written on to newer hardware.
A unique solution thought of, was to use the same ultrashort optical pulses used in LASIK surgeries to store data in glass by permanently changing its structure. This can help keep the data saved for centuries. Quartz glass also doesn’t need energy-intensive air conditioning to keep material at a constant temperature or systems that remove moisture from the air – both of which could lower the environmental footprint of large-scale data storage.